Neji. Sakura. Baseball. And pants.
A/N: Written for the Great Neji/Saku Revival challenge on the nejisaku comm on LJ. Requested by irreverence. Had to include Neji/Saku, baseball and some form of the phrase "Umm, darling? Your pants are way too small for me."
Neji was day-dreaming about a hot shower and finally getting the mud out of his hair. They should have been back in Konoha yesterday. But they sky had opened up on them two days ago, and no one really wanted to slog through the blinding rain and mud on a return trip from a two month mission. Sakura had voiced her medical opinion that it wouldn't be conductive to their health to spend their guaranteed vacation sick, so Neji had ordered his team to find shelter until the storm passed.
Lucky for them, they'd found a - mostly - dry cave to hunker down in and wait.
Sighing, Neji folded his arms behind his head. It sounded like the rain was slowing down.
"Take that you bastard!"
The Hyuuga sprung to his feet. That was Sakura - on watch - yelling. He sprinted around the bend between their camp and the cave entrance, kunai in hand and ready for anything.
Sakura's head shot up at his approach. "Oh hey Neji, did I wake you?"
"Where is he?" Neji snapped, looking around frantically. His hands flew through the seals to activate his Byakugan.
Sakura blinked at him, confusion written on her face as she stood. "Who?"
Neji stopped. Turned to the medic. Aside from being a little muddy and damp, she looked /fine/. Neji took a deep breath, released his Byakugan, and glared. "What were you yelling about?"
Sakura grinned, and despite being dirty and tired, her whole face lit up. "Willy T threw Albert Pujols out at the plate." He must have looked confused, for she brandished the small radio in her hand. Only then did Neji notice the wire leading to the earpiece in her ear. "Baseball game."
"You're listening to a baseball game on a mission!?" Neji snapped with the leftover adrenaline racing through his system.
Sakura made a face at him. "Oh dry up Neji. It's the playoffs." She settled back down at her post.
A laugh bubbled up his throat unbidden. "You're insane," he breathed.
"Don't knock it 'til you try it," Sakura retorted, waving the other earpiece at him.
With a shrug, Neji sat down beside her, taking the earpiece. After readjusting so they could both listen comfortably, they ended up pressed against each other. And strangely, despite the rain, the mud and the fatigue, Neji found that there was no where else he'd rather be at the moment.
Sakura sat on Neji's bed watching articles of clothing fly out of the closet. "How come you never told me you played in little league?"
"You never asked," was the muffled reply. "Hang on, I think I found them."
Sakura smirked to herself. They had been in here for an hour, and she'd heard that line three times already. "Wasn't Kiba on your team? He used to hit on Ino when we were at the academy and try to get her to come to the games."
"I don't know why," Neji replied. "He always spent more time showing off on the field than actually fielding the ball. At least, until the coach threatened to quit." She could hear the amusement in his voice and smiled. He was different with her, as if he peeled away his shell and put it aside when they were alone.
"Why was that such a threat?" she asked.
Neji emerged from the depths of his closet, holding a pair of white baseball pants. "Because Morino Ibiki was our assistant coach and would have taken over if the coach resigned."
Sakura laughed, falling back on the bed. "No wonder Kiba was so nervous during the first Chuunin exam."
The bed dipped beside her, and Neji's face appeared in her vision as he leaned over her. "Here, try them on," he said, pushing the pants into her hand.
Sakura glanced down at their hands joined by the white fabric. "You're kidding right?"
Neji's brow furrowed in obvious annoyance. "I didn't just spend an hour in my closet for nothing. You did say you wished you had baseball pants to wear for the game, didn't you?"
"Oh, fine," Sakura smirked, poking him in the forehead. Then she stood, heading for the bathroom, pants in hand.
Ten minutes of sucking it in and struggling later, she had finally managed to wiggle into the pants. Wishing she had a mirror, Sakura twisted, trying to look at her ass to see if it was protruding as much as she feared. "Um Neji, your pants are way too small for me."
"Suck in your hips," was his reply.
Sakura stuck her tongue out at the door.
"Well? Come on out and let me see," Neji ordered.
Sakura winced. "Promise not to laugh?"
"No." She could hear him grinning at her. "Now come out."
The medic sighed and cracked open the door. Neji, taking shameless advantage of the opening, grabbed her hand and pulled her into the room. "Neji!" Sakura squeaked, hands going to cover her ass. "I can't believe you!"
"I can't believe you convinced Hokage-sama to let you organize a Medic vs. Jounin slow-pitch softball game." He smirked and tugged her arms away from her body. "Now let me see."
Sighing, Sakura stepped away from him and turned in a circle. "See, way too small," she said, daring him to make a snarky comment.
"I think they look good on you," Neji replied.
Spinning to face him, mouth already open to counter with a scathing comment, Sakura shut her mouth with a snap when she saw the look on his face. His white eyes were slightly glazed, and fixated on her rear.
"Neji!" Sakura shrieked.
The Jounin visibly jumped, eyes sheepishly making their way back to her face. Sakura was surprised to see a faint blush staining his cheeks. She had a feeling that she was blushing a little as well.
In all the time they'd spent together, she'd never had the problem she had with other boys - and even Kakashi on occasion - of having to remind them to speak to her face, not her chest. Neji had always been respectful towards her - and to her disappointment, utterly uninterested. So she was a little out of her element now.
Neji closed the space between them. Sakura swallowed hard, but she held her ground, even when he lay his hands lightly on her shoulders. "I think you should keep them," he said, his tone serious, but there was laughter in his eyes.
"Yea, well, they look better on me anyway," she breathed.
He swallowed, blushing a little harder, and looked away. "That they do."
She could tell he was about to pull back. Inner Sakura was yelling for her to go for it, and Sakura couldn't breathe, and before she had time to think about it, she lunged forward and pressed her lips to his.
Neji didn't respond. Just as Sakura was pulling away, an apology on her lips, he twined his fingers in her hair and pulled her back.
When he released her, Sakura rested her forehead against his and teased, "You know, if you're very, very good, I might wear these pants again sometime."
Neji's fingers tightened around her arm. He cleared his throat. Coughed. Flexed his fingers in her hair. Sakura dropped her head to his shoulder and smiled into his shirt.