Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. This story was written for fun, not profit.

Precious Someone

Naruto's never been one to miss a chance to crack a joke, and if you can't laugh at your own predicament, you can't laugh at anything. So he chuckles and earns himself a reproachful look from his fellow chuunin, and maybe he should notice that he's the only one she ever scolds.

"Hold still." Her voice is soft, but it's a command all the same. She's stripped a coat off one of their opponents and tucked it around him, her gaze touching on his face for a heartbeat before she drops it quickly.

"I am holding still," he grumbles, and starts wriggling around to get a better look at what's left of the clearing. He's not entirely sure who did the ambushing here, but even at sixteen he knows a dead body when he sees one, and it's not hard to tell that he and Hinata are the only ones still alive.

Although at this rate, it's probably just going to be Hinata. Which was what he wanted in the first place. He spent half the fight protecting her, so she's not hurt too bad and she'll probably be able to get home without too much fuss.

Except that's not what she's doing, is it? He hisses and pushes himself up on one arm, sliding right past the amusement and into the vague, contemplative mood that seems to go with the whole mortal wounds thing. He's never bothered to define what he considers a precious someone, because he just knows. There's Iruka, and Sakura and Sasuke and even that dumbass Kakashi -- and Hinata. He can't figure out when she worked her way in there.

And okay, ow, she really shouldn't be touching that. He works up enough strength to glare. "What're you doing? Get out of here!"

She just looks at him, and it's quiet and questioning and somewhere under there she's made of steel. But instead of speaking, she finishes bandaging him with quick, practiced hands. There's no way she could've missed the seal, but she doesn't acknowledge it or even pause as her fingers trail over it.

"You're not going, are you." It's not a question, because he remembers the first exam and her climbing to her feet again and again and again.

She crouches with a kunai in one hand. The other hand brushes his hair away from his face, cool fingers trailing over his skin, and he wonders how she can manage that shy little smile when they're both in deep shit. At least she meets his eyes now. Maybe the whole impending death factor makes it easier for her.

"Wouldn't you stay with someone you care about?" she asks very softly.

He stares for a moment, and reaches up catch her hand. And it's really dumb and a great way to waste the strength he's got left, but he props himself up on an arm long enough to kiss her awkwardly.

The kiss back is kinda tentative, but it's there and her hand's squeezing his, and they both have their eyes on their surroundings instead of each other. He doesn't think that's the way it's supposed to go, but he gets why it's different for them. They have someone to protect.