This is going to be a series of moments between Naruto and Hinata taking place after The Last: Naruto the Movie and their wedding.

My other story, To Walk Beside You, is a small prelude to this story. It doesn't affect the plot if you don't read it!


December 15th - Naruto

"And that Lord Hokage pretty sums it up." Shikamaru concludes his recap of their time spent on the moon rescuing Hyuga Hanabi.

"Thank you Shikamaru, thank you to all of you. For not only saving Hanabi but the moon and this planet. You're free to go and enjoy your next two weeks of R and R. Barring any extenuating circumstances of course." Kakashi's eyes wrinkle an unseen smile forming under his mask. "Naruto, could you please wait a moment."

"What's up sensei?" The blond shinobi asks, swinging a chair around to place his forearms on the back rest.

"Tomorrow morning I'd like you to meet me in the expanded section of the village, there are a few items of concern I'd like to go over with you." Kakashi states, his tone cryptic as ever.

"Aaaahhh come on can't you just tell me now?" Naruto prods, hoping for a long relaxing day in bed.

"Now for as much as you have grown I see that your patience still hasn't caught up."

"I know, I know virtues and all that." Naruto waves his hand over his shoulder as making his way out of the room.

"Oh, and take this." Kakashi tosses a key in Naruto's direction as he leaves the room.

"What was that all about?" Sakura questions the as the door closes behind him.

"Ya know, the same old can't give any one, not even his students a straight answer Kakashi-sensei" Naruto surveys the hallway in front of him. Noticing Shikamaru had already taken his leave, his eyes landed on Hinata.

"So, um, Hinata." He starts, a nervousness neither girl had ever heard coating his voice. "Would you want to take a walk with me, ya know?"

"Sure, I mean yes that would be nice." her tone unsteady.

Good, I thought it was just me. Naruto thinks, as they make their way down the stairs. Their shoulders lightly brush against each other.

The only girl I ever walk this close to is Sakura, I wonder if she's comfortable with this. Naruto glances sideways, a lump forming in his throat at the sight of the soft smile covering Hinata's face.

"Hinata?" Naruto asks as they step outside, "You want to go back to my place?" Before he fully finishes the sentence, Naruto sees the smile on her face replaced with shock as she takes a small step back.

"No, sorry, no not like that, ya know!" nervously rubbing the back of his neck

"I was just thinking since it's cold out we could go sit and talk instead of walking around since you aren't really dressed for it, ya know." The words leave his mouth at an alarming rate.

"Oh!" Hinata giggles, feeling silly for her reaction.

I should know him better than that! Even if my time spent with him has been short, I know he's not that kind of man. She thinks to herself.

"Yes, talking would probably be good." Returning his hesitant smile.

Naruto fumbles with his keys and pushes his shoulder into the door. Swinging open to reveal his dark apartment. Flipping the light switch, looking down at Hinata as she glances around the room.

"I forgot, you've only been here, what that one time you brought me ramen when I first got out of the hospital?" taking a step into the kitchen area "before I got my arm."

We're alone. Naruto steadies his hands against the countertop. I've been alone with Hinata countless times...but not alone after I kissed her.

"I'd offer you a tour but well it's not much." Naruto swings his arm around, motioning to his surroundings.

Hinata's eyes follow his motion, taking in the small room before her. A rickety looking table and chairs separated the kitchen from his bedroom. The small counter space housing a sink, a hot plate, and a dozen or so instant ramen containers. The space opening up to a single bed pushed into the corner. The foot giving way to a narrow hallway which she assumed led to the bathroom.

"No, no." She softly shakes her head, "I like it. The Hyuga Compound is so large that sometimes I can't even find my own sister or father without looking for at least ten minutes. I like this, it's homey!" Hinata smiles, "May I?" She motions the chair to her left.

"Yes, please. So, all I have is instant ramen and some tea if you want I could…" Naruto trails off, looking at her smiling face.

"Naruto-kun?" Hinata asks, dragging him from his thoughts. "I'm not too hungry right now but thank you." Feeling the knots form in her stomach.

You've been alone with him, hell you've been alone with him more in the last forty-eight hours than you ever had. But he hadn't kissed me, hadn't told me he loved me.

"Yeah, I get it, I mean how you're feeling…your face, ya know, you look nervous." His words coming out rushed.

"I've never seen you nervous." Hinata smiles slightly, appreciating the leveled playing field.

"Oh, trust me, I've been nervous plenty of times. But war, fighting, making my points known to ninjas more powerful than me, well, that's easy. That I know how to do, I know how to punch a guy. I'm not too sure how to sit in my apartment and talk to the only girl I've ever kissed and ask her if she is okay with dating, ya know." Naruto rubs the back of his neck, looking into her light eyes.

Wait. Crap. What does she think we're doing? I said I loved her, but she hasn't said that…well years ago…maybe I waited too long…maybe she's just being nice about this…. Naruto's thoughts ran through his mind at an alarming pace, her sweet voice dragging him back to the surface.

"Dating?" Hinata squeaks.

"If that's what you want, I feel like you deserve to make that decision after all the years I made you wait." Naruto's eyebrows knit themselves together in confusion.

"Yes, definitely, dating sounds nice." Her eyes go wide as his hand reaches across the table, running the back of his fingers down the curve of her cheek.

"So, with that, I guess there's one other thing I have to do." Dropping his hand motioning for Hinata to stand.

She turns her gaze questioning.

"Let me walk you home, I need to talk to your father." Naruto swallows hard. Once again reaching for her hand, guiding the pair through the streets.

"Hinata! Naruto-senpai!" Hanabi rushes into the courtyard.

"Hanabi, you should be resting!" Hinata using a stern tone Naruto didn't know she was capable of.

Well I guess there is stuff I don't know about her. Naruto pondering what other secrets the beautiful girl in front of him may be hiding.

"Oh hush. Lady Tsunade came to visit while you finished the report, I feel much better!" Lightly holding her sister's hand swinging it between them "And Hinata, Naruto-senpai thank you. I know I wasn't the nicest sister to you in the past, but you saved me nonetheless and for that I will be forever thankful." She drops Hinata's hand and bows to the pair.

"Uzumaki Naruto, what do we owe this pleasure?" Hyuga Hiashi making his way into the yard.

"Father! We've come to check on Hanabi." Hinata stands slightly in front of Naruto, as if to protect him.

"Actually, Lord Hyuga." Naruto starts, swallowing hard. "I came to talk to you. In private, ya know." Mentally kicking himself for the nervous slip up.

"Hm. Well this way please." Walking through the doorway motioning Naruto to follow

"He didn't waste any time." Her younger sister giggles as she makes her way to the opposite side of the compound.

"Now Uzumaki what can I do for you? Normally I do not take private meetings with this little notice but for the man who saved not only this village but my youngest daughter I can make an exception." The Lord turns to face the young shinobi.

"Naruto please, Lord Hyuga" Lord Hyugas nods in approval "this is a matter I would like to talk to you about before the village finds out about our mission." Finding it hard to look him in the eye.

"Is there something my youngest was not able to report back to me?" Showing the annoyance Naruto had heard Hinata mention in the past.

"No, this is something to do with the mission but not to do with the rescue." Finally looking his girlfriend's father in the eye.

"Do tell." It was obvious Naruto had sparked his curiosity.

Please don't hit me, please don't use your weird chakra control on me… Naruto prays to himself before he begins.

"I don't really have information, just more of a question…" nervousness can be heard in his voice.

"Then get on with it, Naruto I am a busy man." Eyeing the young man before him.

"I would like permission to date your daughter." Naruto speaks before he loses his nerve.

"Excuse me?" Lord Hyugas face goes dark.

"Ya see Lord Hyuga, Hinata has cared for me for a long time and being on this mission made me realize my feelings for her and I just knew that if I didn't come to you, you would never consider me a man or honor our relationship." Naruto speaks quickly hoping his words are heard.

"And what would your intentions with my daughter be, Naruto?" Lord Hyugas replies after a long pause.

"Um well…" not prepared for this question Naruto stutters "I intend to treat her the way a lady should be treated and build a lasting relationship with her." Mentally patting himself on the back for coming up with a decent answer.

"Hm. If that is the case, I will agree to this under a few stipulations. First you must prove yourself to our clan that you are worthy of Hinata and until then she will be home by 10pm every evening. Secondly you will not interfere with her missions. She is finally starting to show the promise I expect of her. And lastly if you are dumb enough to make my daughter with child you will marry her and you will assume all responsibilities of a father." The Lord finishes, sternly.

"Yes, Lord Hyugas understood, all of those will happen. Oh well except the last one that one will definitely not happen, ya know." Naruto rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment.

"You may go now, and Naruto, and again thank you." The Lord shows what could be a slight smile.

Naruto makes his way back to the courtyard, the rays of the evening sun turning everything they touch gold. Hinata sits on a bench, her eyes closed, her face turned towards the fading sun.

How did I not notice? She's so beautiful. Naruto again questions himself.

The sun glistening off her dark hair, she must feel his gaze as she looks up and their eyes meet.

"Naruto-kun?" The answer her father had given him was evident by the wide smile that covered his face.

"He said yes, your father said I could date you!" He says scooping her up in a fierce hug. "Now that that's out of the way, let's go get some dinner." Pulling her out of the compound.

"Well actually Kiba and Shino will be here any time. We do dinner this time every other week." She softly speaks as he pulls her in close, wrapping his arms around her waist.

"Hinata." Naruto speaks her name softly, moving a hand up covering the back of her neck pulling her face close to his.

"Yes?" She's able to make out the word before his lips cover hers, there in the street for all of the Hidden Leaf Village to see, for all of the girls who wondered if he would ever date them.