Stolen Kisses

Naruto leaned restlessly over the bridge, brushing the layer of snow from his shoulder before turning to stare at the moon's perfect reflection in the dark water. Snow flakes fell heavily around him and creating small ripples in the otherwise still waters before melting away instantly completely.

It was a particularly depressing sight for the blonde. Like a snowflake's lifespan, their meetings were brief, leaving behind only precious memories to signify their occurrence. Exactly like the ripples each snowflake creates before disappearing.

He hates waiting. One would have assumed that after years of waiting for Kakashi when he was a genin would have cured him of his impatience. Well, truth to be told, he didn't mind waiting for his old sensei as much as he hated waiting for her.

Yes. Her.

He glanced at his watch. It had been exactly 24 minutes and 54 seconds since he had arrived.

Contrary to popular belief, Naruto does know how to count. Iruka-sensei had made very sure of that no matter how painful the process was for both of them: teaching him how to count. And besides, he likes counting now. It sooths him when he's all frustrated and irritated, particularly when he counts the number of bowls of ramen he plans to eat tomorrow.

One bowl of ramen...

Two bowls of ramen...

Three bowls of ramen...

His finely honed shinobi skills kicked in when he sensed her distinctive chakra approaching and knew precisely where she was. As she neared him, he could hear her footsteps; the rhythm was entirely her own – she took small steps no matter how big a hurry she was in.

A little closer and he could smell her already. She smelt like vanilla and warm summer afternoons spent lazing in open fields: calmness and contentment. It would probably be rude not to credit Kyuubi for his sharp senses that borders on out-of-this-world. At least that damned fox is good for something besides mass destruction, hurting innocent people, creating havoc and generally just being a pain in everyone's ass.

Oi, I heard that! A voice within Naruto snarled. Kyuubi sounded positively sulky. I'm a demon fox! I do what demons do! You can hardly expect me to be cute and cuddly!

Naruto ignored the demon sealed within him. He learnt that if he ignored the fox long enough, he will just eventually shut up and leave him alone. After 18 years of sharing a body, they've learnt to co-exist in a sort of grudging fashion. Kyuubi will allow Naruto access his chakra when he needed it and Naruto will sometimes visit him when he slept; he could sense the fox's loneliness. There was only so much you can do when you're sealed away in a cold, dark and dank cell for all eternity.

Shhh... I'll talk to you later. Now, go away!

Thankfully, Kyuubi withdrew his presence from his consciousness, leaving him alone with his ill-hidden anticipation.

He could already see her from afar and make out her features; short dark hair that currently had snow in it, milk-white eyes that proclaimed her bloodline and petite frame that made her look so frail. She took larger strides now, in her haste to get to him quickly.

"Naruto-kun!" Hinata called out when she reached him and automatically apologized, almost afraid that he'll be angry. "I'm sorry that I'm late..."

"Shhh," Naruto said, placing a finger on her lips to silence her. They were slightly chapped from the harsh winter.

To touch her was as if he was granted a small a visit to paradise; it gave him the same indescribable feeling down his spine, exactly like what he felt when he learns a new technique, when he faced off a particularly tough opponent or when he manages to beat the crap out of his eternal rival, Uchiha Sasuke. Ero-sennin must feel exactly the same way whenever he manages to spy on that old hag when she's in her bath with his patented tonton no jutsu.

Actually, holding her is way more exhilarating and satisfying experience than all the activities mentioned above combined.

But tasting her is aphrodisiacal.

Naruto smiled at her before leaning down...

...and tasted those very lips he just touched. He swiped his tongue across the roughened surface before slipping into her mouth. Hinata moaned and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck for support as he gently invaded her mouth. She would never tire of his kisses; they were wonderful. It made her feel as if she was the most important person to him that for once, she mattered and she is special.

She had never felt that way before him, never felt so...alive.

All her life, she had wanted her father to acknowledge her. She had wanted him to look at her with the same kind of pride in his white eyes they have when he looked at her sister. She had tried her best, but he was still disappointed in her.

But Naruto accepted her for who she is. He had faith in her and cheered her on even in the most hopeless scenarios. He was never disappointed in her, even when she failed. He accepted her the way she is and acknowledged her strength because she had tried her best. It didn't matter to him that she was weaker than her younger sister.

"Don't cry," he had said one night, wiping away her tears of shame. The shame of being weak. "You don't have to be strong, because I will be strong enough to protect everybody!"

She loves the way he holds her – with his arms wrapped around her waist as if he never wants to let her go; the sound of his heart beating steadily in his chest; the feel of the rough texture of his blonde locks; the way he manages to look both feral and adorable at the same time with his mischievous blue eyes and whisker-ish details on his face.

More importantly, she loves the man he is.

If someone had walked pass them that night, the sight would have softened even the most hardened cynic. It looked like a scene right out of a fairytale; two secret lovers clinging on to each other with pure white snowflakes whirl around them gently.

They took long drags of air when they finally broke apart. Naruto grinned foxily as he noted his girlfriend's starry-eyed look and flushed face. She never failed to look like after their kisses; all 266 of them.

"Naruto-kun," she repeated his name breathlessly, looking at him directly in the eye. Her eyes were filled with unmasked love and total devotion so profound that the loudest ninja of Konoha was lost for words.

Naruto froze for an instant before pulling her close again. The dark haired girl instinctively tipped her head up as he kissed her for the 267th time.

Some things are worth keeping count; like bowls of ramen, stolen kisses in the falling snow and precious memories of the love they share.

OWARI

Author's Notes:

My first Naruto fanfic! Wahh... I hope you enjoyed it. I was inspired by a conversation I had with my friend involving the five senses. The story slowly evolved from there to what is it now.

It's my FIRST one-shot as well. Eheh...as usual, it's very fluffy. I'm currently hooked to writing romance.

I might consider writing a longer story about them coming into the open. I might. But first, I'll have to finish up my other fics in other fandoms.

That's all. Please review! Onegaishimasu!

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