Second Best: Drunken Dreams
By Nutty Scribbler
EDIT: 1 October 2004
Link to an excerpt from Chapter himitsudesu/ forum/ index.php? showtopic48
(Remove the spaces in the link)
For Syao-chan: Happy 18th Birthday! You may legally surf up smut now! XD. And remember to update Froggie!
Special thanks to: Sho, Suna and Seifer, for bearing with my random insanity when I was writing, Chibi Kits for treating my chronic grammar errors and my darlin' lil imouto-chan, redrosekira who had become my tormented victim when I needed to get into the groove to write this fic. XP
Disclaimer: Don't own a bloody thing save for the storyline. Don't steal! Or I will sennen goroshi you right into Kabuto and Orochimaru's bed. XD (ok, I'm one sick duddette)
- I -
"6 years, such a long time; approximately one third of our lives, and we still have yet to let him go," she sighed.
"Did you ever think we would?" her companion beside her asked stonily, as he gazed at the rushing waters below the bridge where they were standing; the same bridge that used to be the rendezvous point for the long dead team 7.
It was a long time since they had stood together on that bridge; it seemed like only yesterday they were there together complaining of Kakashi's chronic lateness with their other teammate silently propped against a tree, wordlessly mocking their antics.
Tonight, they were there, not by pre-arranged meeting, but by chance of coincidental thoughts. Not so coincidental, considering that night was the anniversary of that fateful day; the breaking of team 7.
They had been reminiscing of their past genin life together, recalling happier moments such as trying to unmask Kakashi-sensei together, passing their genin survival exams, completing missions together. They later moved on to less happy ones, attending Sandaime's funeral, Sasuke and Naruto fighting atop the hospital, Sasuke leaving, Sasuke wanting to kill Naruto...
The wind howled, as though grieving with their loss.
"No, I did not expect us to forget. How could I forget the love of my life?"
"The love of your life?" Naruto asked almost sardonically. "One would have thought that being a jounin would have cured you of such naiveté, Sakura-chan."
Sakura turned to study her former teammate's countenance. She had forgotten how much he had changed in the last half a dozen years. Not only physically – physically, he was built like a Greek god now, with a warrior's body, penetrating blue eyes and golden locks (Sakura had always found his resemblance to their late Yondaime, whose picture hangs in the Hokage's reception area, startling) – but emotionally as well.
The abandonment of their former teammate had affected Naruto greatly; much more than he was willing to admit. He was moody, and restless. With the added problems of Kyuubi's personality draining him because of the weakened seal, he had problems sleeping as well. The rare times he manage to fall asleep, he was plagued with bloody nightmares courtesy of the demon within him. Kakashi-sensei, Tsunade-sama and Jiraiya-sama had redone the loosened seal as much as they could without sacrificing themselves, but it was still not enough.
Almost overnight the village of Konoha then had transformed into a place of unrest and grief. So shortly after they had lost their beloved Sandaime, the last of the Uchiha Clan of Konoha crumbled. Tsunade blamed herself for sending Shikamaru and the 4 genins out, Kakashi-sensei blamed himself for not keeping a closer watched on the unstable Sasuke, Shikamaru blamed himself for not being smart enough and Jiraiya felt just a tad of remorse for spending too much time perfecting his peeping jutsu.
But it was Naruto who blamed himself most of all. He kicked himself for not being strong enough. He kicked himself for losing control over Kyubi. He kicked himself for losing Sasuke to the snake-sennin. He kicked himself for betraying his comrade's faith in him.
He kicked himself for failing himself.
In the end Jiraiya-sama and Tsunade-sama decided it would be best if Naruto was removed from Konoha. Tsunade-sama sent Jiraiya and Naruto away to the Sand Village, where they met up with Gaara of the Desert. Together, they formulated a jutsu to rein their demons.
After that, Jiraiya and Naruto traveled extensively, the details of their missions being handed to them by Konoha's eyes and ears abroad. Sakura had heard rumors that most missions were A-rank missions with a few S-class missions sometimes and them specializing in assassinations.
The Cherry Blossom found it hard to imagine her once cheerful and clumsy teammate was now an efficient killing machine.
But then again, who could have predicted that the surviving scions of the once prestigious Uchiha Clan who had sworn to protect Konoha to death, betray her?
One year stretch to two, and two stretched to three. Sakura – in the continuous absence of Kakashi – who was needed for missions, was absorbed into Team 8 under Kurenai-sensei, where she was trained in the art of Genjutsu. Presents arrived dutifully each year from her traveling teammate around New Year for the remainder of the Rookie 9, their senseis, Tsunade-sama and Shizune-sama along with a few short missives bearing news of good health.
But he had never once returned to Konoha to visit in those six long years.
She hated to admit it but she missed him. But she knew she did not miss him as much as her near sister and current teammate missed him. And deep down, she could admit that she missed the dark haired, dark eyed traitor more.
Oh, curse her treacherous heart.
"If I remembered correctly, you too were once naïve, Naruto," she said in a light, teasing voice.
"We were all once naïve," Naruto replied almost philosophically. "But naïveté is a luxury that we shinobi cannot afford."
Once again, Sakura was shocked by the blunt perceptiveness of this new Naruto. It was so hard to reconcile this man with the boy she used to know; the villagers had realized it too and decided to conveniently forget their earlier cruelty to him. Naruto never mentioned it, and deep down, Sakura knew he was not one to hold a grudge. Almost all the girls aged between nine and ninety had some form of crush on him and Naruto did not seem to mind the attention at all. To the public, he was still the sunny, mischievous boy who defaced the Hokage monument long ago, but had grown up into a fine shinobi a village could be proud off.
Only a few close people could detect the changes in him. He seemed much more tensed and collected, even the few slip ups in public seemed to be calculated to make his company laugh. Sakura shivered when she remembered the battle ki he gave off in a supposedly friendly training match against Kakashi-sensei last month; it was downright scary – it seemed to have the spectators root to the spot. Goosebumps had rose from their flesh and Kiba's hair had shot out in spikes, just like how a dog would react when it senses danger and Akamaru had whimpered pitifully in Hinata's arms.
The fight was beautiful, none of the usual quick and brutal decapitation on a mission but a flowing symphony of taijutsu moves that was executed with perfection by both fighters. Naruto had ended it on a high note when he gave the Copy Ninja retribution – he performed the famed Konoha's secret move: 1000 Years of Pain.
Or in many fewer words: a super hard poke in the ass.
The spell over them broke as they erupted in a collective roar of laughter and Naruto cheekily told his sensei that Kakashi wasn't the only Copy Ninja around after all. Kakashi's eye crinkled up in a smile and they concluded their reunion with a dinner party.
Kakashi had stood the entire night.
It was then; Sakura decided that Naruto had become a very dangerous man that should not be trifled with.
She stared at the moon for a while before speaking, "You have not forgotten him, either."
He chuckled. "How can I forget him? He was my rival, my best friend, the brother I never had."
Silence fell before he continued. "My betrayer."
The last words were uttered slightly above the whisper, but it echoed in their minds loudly.
"Our betrayer," Sakura whispered, green eyes misting up. Choking back sobs, "our betrayer, and yet we are waiting for him."
Naruto straightened up, preparing to leave. "We're waiting for him for different reasons, Sakura-chan." Turning to look at her, he replied with a ghost of his former childlike smile, "You're waiting for him because you love him. I am waiting for him because I want to kick his ass one more time."
He took two steps towards the direction of the town before he heard her whisper softly, "Why are you doing this, Naruto?"
"Doing what?" he asked, not even bothering to turn back to look at her.
"Being so... cynical and jaded. You're an entirely different from the Naruto I used to know." She smiled bewildered.
This time, he turned back and gazed into her confused eyes steadily.
"I grew up."
With that, he walked off, without even looking back once, leaving Sakura to her memories.
She gazed longingly at the glowing stone in the sky. "Sasuke-kun, when will you come back to us?"
- II -
Naruto raised his glass and downed the drink in one gulp. It was taking a lot to get him drunk. Damn Kyubi and his infernal resistance to alcohol; he couldn't even get drunk.
Not only had that damned demon robbed him of a family, a normal childhood and friends, it even robbed him of the blissful surrender when one was dead drunk.
Life could be cruelly unfair.
He downed another shot.
He was 18, filthy rich from all the missions he had been sent on with Ero-sennin, powerful, recently promoted into the ranks of the ANBU squad, handsome to boot, according to the entire female population of Konoha...
And he was all alone on Saturday night.
What a sad person he was.
Not that he really wanted company; there was only so much simpering he could take. He finally understood why Sasuke was unmoved by his legion of fan girls. Secretly, he wished he was invisible to the female population once more, girls, pretty girls had been passing by – some looking at him coyly, some flirtatiously and one brazenly walking up to him and asking him if he wanted to get a room.
He had politely but firmly declined by telling her he was gay. Hopefully, it would spread through the village by the next day and the girls would stop pestering him. Two months since he returned to the village, and he was already on the verge of a mental breakdown from being stalked. But right now, he just wanted to wallow in his self misery.
He had a right to. He had a right to get really stoned and dance naked on the table top if he wanted to. After all, today was the anniversary of the day he blew the most important mission in his miserable life.
With that thought in mind, he threw his head back and downed yet another shot.
- III -
Hinata surveyed the chaotic scene around her. She had to admit that she was amazed by how daring some people could be; total strangers gyrating to the music, often against each other. The loud music blared in her ears and the heavy drums sent vibrations throughout her whole body.
Frankly, she was bored out of her pants and wished she had taken up Shino-kun's offer on a bug clone.
But deceiving Kiba-kun wasn't nice...
Kiba had suggested the team come out for a night of fun. By Shino and Hinata's definition, this was most definitely not fun.
She shot a wistful glance at "Shino" who was sitting serenely beside her, unperturbed by the havoc around them. Mentally, she kicked herself twice; one for being unable to turn down Kiba-kun's invitation and the other for refusing Shino-kun's offer.
Her eyes wandered around the room again. A shocking mob of yellow hair sticking in all directions caught her eye.
Hinata felt her heart beat harder and faster. This time, it had nothing to do with the band of stomping elephants they called a drum.
For a while, she just stared at his back. He had grown so much since he left Konoha; taller, bigger and if possible, even more handsome than Hinata remembered.
She had been both heartbroken and worried sick when he left with Jiraiya-sama, having witnessed his decline since the Sasuke-incident. After he had left, she spent every night, praying to God to watch over him, to make him happy, to bring him home safely and to give her one more chance to tell him how she felt. She waited for New Year every year, for it was when his missives and presents arrived. Whatever he sent her, she kept in a little ornate chest in her room; they were her treasures, proof that he had not forgotten her. It didn't matter that the gifts were quite standard; all the other girls got almost the same things.
God answered her prayers; he was alive and physically well. Most importantly, he was home now, and she was given another chance to confess her feelings.
But Hinata could see that Naruto-kun was not happy. She didn't need the Byakugan to tell her that. His blue eyes no longer sparkled with mischief and enthusiasm and he gave out an air of weariness, as though he was too tired to carry on. He looked as though he had been to hell and back, and wished that he was back in hell after all.
She couldn't help but recall Neji's remark to Tenten when they thought they were alone in the garden after the reunion party, "Naruto looks like a dead man walking."
And Neji's Byakugan seldom lies.
Nobody really knew what happened between him and Sasuke; he never told them the whole story. Kakashi told them that he had followed their scent and by the time he reached there, all he found was Naruto alone, in the rain, with blood on him.
Pakkun verified that it was Sasuke's blood.
And from there, it got worst. He wouldn't eat and he wouldn't, or couldn't sleep. He drifted from day to day in a haze, as though he was in another world.
Hinata had cried herself to sleep each night during that period of time. Her heart ached to watch him suffer and she despised her inability to do anything about it.
6 years away from Konoha had rescued him from the depths of his suffering then. But it had also changed him considerably.
And Hinata was not sure if she liked the changes.
Still looking at his back, Hinata remembers her vow to tell him her feelings. She fidgeted with the thought for a while before resolving to do it there and then before she lost courage and changed her mind again.
Hoping to fortify herself with a drink, she drank heavily from a glass on the table and choked immediately. The alcohol burned a trail down her stomach, leaving her with a tingly feeling of lightheadedness. Emboldened with the warmth coursing through her veins, she got up and strode purposefully towards the direction of the boy she had admired from afar all these years.
Much later, she would realize that drinking was a very bad idea.
Naruto was still miserable; the alcohol had not done anything to improve his mood. He was still not drunk, despite it being his 137th shot – the bartender had been giving him looks for a while now; most people would have been on the floor by the 10th shot. Someone tapped him on the shoulder.
"I told you already, I'm not interested. I'm gay!" he said irritably as he swung back, expecting a brazen wench, looking for a good time.
Instead, Hyuga Hinata stared back at him, in an almost dazed manner as she tried to register what he just told her.
Naruto cursed as he forced a smile on his face. "Hinata-chan, how are you."
Hinata swayed a little before plopping down on the seat beside him and answered him primly, "Fine thank you."
"What are you doing here?" Naruto asked curiously. It was certainly a surprise to see shy, quiet Hyuga Hinata in a setting like this.
"Getting stinking drunk; isn't that what people do here?" she replied as she signaled the bartender. "I'll have whatever he's having."
The man placed the glass in front of her and she downed it without much fan fare. Heat engulfed her entire being, leaving her feeling light and weightless.
"Why are you getting drunk?"
"Because the boy I have been crushing on all these years just turned around and told me in the face that he's gay. What else can a girl do in a situation like this?"
Naruto almost choked with laugher. "How much have you drunk tonight, Hinata-chan?"
Her brow creased delicately as she held out her fingers, struggling to recall. "Two," she said after a while. "Three," she amended as she stole the shot of tequila sitting idly in front of Naruto.
Naruto looked at her in an amused fashion. She had just confessed her feelings for him and she probably did not even realize it. Three drinks, and she was now as drunk as a wheelbarrow. Naruto did not know which was worst; his inability to get drunk or her inability to drink.
He signaled for two more shots, which the bartender attended to immediately. Picking up the shot glasses, he held one out to her. "Let's toast to our misery. Misery loves company, after all."
Hinata nodded drunkenly, as she hit the glass lightly against his. "To our misery." With that, they simultaneously down their shots.
As Naruto set his glass down, he couldn't help but feel a little happier as he signaled for another round.
- V -
Naruto never understood why he even bothered wasting hard-earned money on drinks when he obviously couldn't get drunk. He made a mental note never to try drowning his sorrows in alcohol again.
And having to be responsible for what happens because you're the sober one really sucked, he thought to himself as he hauled Hinata's slumped form into the his new apartment. Tsunade-baasan had handed him the keys to this luxurious pad upon his return to Konoha. At the same time, she had kept him so busy with missions that in these two months, he had never had the chance to enjoy the luxury of the Jacuzzi in the bath; it was a marble contraption built so big that it was obviously meant for more than taking baths.
Turning his back to secure the lock, he felt his girl in his arms rouse from her drunken slumber. Dark, sooty eyelashes flickered before her pale eyes opened. It took a while before they focused and recognized the man in front of her.
"Where am I?" she asked groggily.
He shifted her position slightly, supporting her weight by making her lean fully on him, her entire front plastered against his. So close, he could smell the faint fragrance of vanillas beneath the heavy odor of alcohol. "We're in my apartment. I didn't think you would have wanted to return home to your father in this state and I couldn't think of where else to take you to."
"Naruto-kun," she said softly, her warm breath fanned his cheeks. "I'm feeling very hot."
A rush of heat rushed to his face involuntarily and he mentally kicked himself for reacting to her simple words like a hormonal teenager. "Uh, just give me a minute." Twisting the key, the bolt shifted into place with a satisfying thud.
He released her from her comfortable position against his chest. Big mistake; she wobbled slightly before collapsing against him, his arms automatically went around her to prevent her from sliding along his entire length before hitting the floor.
Naruto shuddered to think the consequences of her sliding along his entire length.
Sweeping her off her feet, he carried her to the couch and deposited her there. "I'll be right back," he told her, before he rushed off into the bedroom.
His heart raced, as he threw open drawers and cupboards, looking for a towel. Articles of clothing flew everywhere; he had not had the time to organize his stuff properly since moving in. In the end, he grabbed a black shirt from the pile on the floor and ran into the adjourning bathroom.
He twisted the tap to the left for hot water rather violently, and hot water gushed from the head. Dunking the entire garment into the sink, he did no seem to mind or care that the scalding liquid was slowly turning his skin into a shade of lobster red. All he knew was, if he didn't get Hinata out of her current state soon, there is bound to be trouble. He hoped the hot towel will work; it worked well enough for Jiraiya.
Wringing the soaked garment dry, he rushed back into the living room, where he was confronted with a sight that made him drop the make-shift towel on the floor like an anvil.
Her clothes were gone, save for her undergarments – a white cotton brassiere with matching panties. Naruto tried to tear his gaze away from the sight of her luscious body, ripe for the picking, and stem the flow of NC 17 thoughts about picking it.
She was really very beautiful, not slender like Sakura but more generously proportioned. Naruto's gaze traveled from her flushed face down the graceful column of her neck, past her sizeable twins, down to the innocuous white cotton panties which left nothing to the imagination ended with her long legs that seemed to go on and on.
She was the most perfect woman Naruto had ever seen.
And trust him; he had seen his fair share of naked women, having grown up around Jiraiya.
Her action of reaching back to unhook the clasp of her bra finally startled him out of his reverie. He quickly spun around, with his back to her nakedness – it stopped him from gaping and also to hide Little Naruto's rather violent reaction.
Not that it helped, since the image of her in sexy-no-jutsu form had been permanently burned into his retinas.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?" he bellowed at her, without turning.
"I told you, I was feeling hot."
"You could have turned on the air-conditioning!"
"I didn't know where the remote was!" she yelled back at him in an incredibly OOC manner. But allowances had to be made as she was stinking drunk and not feeling at all her usual self.
Suddenly, she burst into tears and the distressing sounds of her sobs and sniffling caused Naruto to without thinking turn back and getting flashed by her again. He groaned and decided resistance was futile at this point and walked up to her.
Despite his considerable amount of experience with the opposite sex regarding the matters of reproduction during his travels with Jiraiya, Naruto still finds himself unable to handle the most lethal weapon of all; a weeping woman.
Or in this case, a scantily clad and extremely beautiful, weeping woman who still manages to look desirable despite suffering from the effects of excessive indulgence in alcohol, stuffy nose and swollen eyes.
Woman, they're even more unpredictable then he, who was dubbed the No. 1 Unpredictable Ninja of Konohagakure.
"Hush," he said softly, gathering into his arms and trying to ignore the fact that she dressed only in her birthday suit. "What's the matter?"
"You wouldn't look at me," she replied, in a choked voice. "Am I that ugly? I know I'm not as pretty as Sakura-chan, but..."
"Shhh," he silenced her, rocking her gently. "I assure you, you are definitely the most beautiful woman I've seen naked."
She looked at him in a moment, trying to comprehend his words. First, he had implied that he had seen many women naked.
"You're really gay, aren't you," she burst out, tears flowing freely again. "Oh God, I knew it. They were right after all; all the good ones are dead, taken, evil or gay."
Naruto's stopped short at her words; he was at loss at whether to laugh or to cry.
"No, Hinata-chan," he said, almost crying himself at the utterly ridiculous situation he is currently in; holding a nude crying woman who thought he was gay when he was so aroused by her nearness that it was almost painful. "I am not gay. I didn't want to look at you because it was a bad idea to."
He wanted to lie to her, saying that because it was the most ungentlemanly thing to do in her inebriated state. Instead he caught himself saying, "Because bad things happen."
White eyes looked up at him curiously, "What sort of bad things?"
Naruto knew he had lost. In fact, he had lost since she had approached him tonight and told him her reason for getting drunk.
"Because the boy I have been crushing on all these years just turned around and told me in the face that he's gay. What else can a girl do in a situation like this?"
She wouldn't resist. He knew she had liked him all along.
A part inside of him was screaming at him, "Get off her, you bastard. What do you think you're doing?"
Kyubi for once was not raging and railing to be let out; something he had been doing almost continuously since the battle with Sasuke. Now, it was quietly snickering, enjoying the unexpected turn of events and silently cheering him on.
But he didn't pay any attention to both his conscience and the demon within him.
"This happens," he said simply, before he bent down and captured her lips in an endless, drugging kiss.
For a moment, all Hinata could think was the fact that he was kissing her. All her childhood fantasies were coming true; the feeling of his warm lips on hers, his warm breath in her face and his arms around her.
It was her first kiss, but it felt like they had done this a million times before. Hinata certainly knew that they had done this a million times and more before in her dreams, and her fantasies.
Closing her eyes, she surrendered herself to the swirling vortex of unexplainable feelings within her that was evoked by his soul shattering kiss.
- VI -
Naruto studied the sleeping girl beside him carefully. The covers hid her state of total undress from her chin onwards and diminished his ardor somewhat.
She looked very beautiful, with the moonlight streaming in, casting soft highlights on her dark locks and alabaster skin. She was breathing evenly, albeit heavily - a nasal sound that Naruto found extremely sexy in an innocent and unsuspecting way.
He moaned. Her proximity to him was intoxicating and they were on a bed no less; it was wrecking havoc on his sanity.
Just great – Now, there is another being in this damned universe that has the power to drive him to the brink of insanity besides Kyubi.
The kitsune youma chortled and was promptly told to can it.
Reaching out, he touched her smooth cheek with one finger and trailed it down her neck and traced her collarbone. She shivered from his touch and wormed closer to his warmth.
Naruto closed his eyes and pulled her closer to him. Mentally, his conscience was screaming at him again for being such a bastard to touch her; he might taint her with his mortal sins. He knew he was being a bastard alright, taking advantage of the situation. But she didn't have to know about tonight; what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her.
But he couldn't tear himself away from her side. She exuded an aura of tranquility and serenity that even calmed the blood-thirsty demon in him.
For the first time in many years, Naruto fell into deep sleep without having to resort to medication, an exhausting battle or having a drawn out violent discussion with the Fox regarding basic needs such as sleep.
awoke and groaned as she rolled over onto her stomach; she was
totally as what her peers would say, wasted. It was as though someone
or something is pounding away within her cranium with a large hammer.
Her eyes felt heavy and swollen, her limbs weak and the unsettling
churning in her stomach was steadily increasing.
Suddenly, she bolted out of the warm bed towards the nearest door, which she perceives is the washroom.
Right door but wrong time. The door swung open unexpectedly, causing her to trip and crash into something hard. Something hard, warm, wet and...
Hinata threw one confused look at her obstacle that was looking at her in equal confusion before throwing up all over him. In the haziness of a colossal hangover, she couldn't help but marvel at what a nice chest he has, born of hours of taijutsu training, despite having her last night's dinner splattered all over it.
Having first hand experience with people who overindulged before, Naruto instinctively guided her to the toilet bowl; where she doubled over and continued to relieve her stomach. Almost mechanically, Naruto filled a glass of water from the tap and handed it to her with one hand and continued to pat her bare back soothingly.
When she was finally done, she slumped down on the cold tiled floor and panted heavily, surveying the unfamiliar surroundings. Naruto squatted down beside her and started cleaning her flushed face with a damp cloth. Still in a daze, Hinata's gaze traveled from the hand holding the cloth to the body it was attached to and up to the owner's face and began taking inventory of his features.
Blonde hair, blue eyes, scratched cheeks, broad shoulders, nicely defined pecs, washboard abs and....
Cruel realization struck then as her eyes widened and when they finally noticed each other's total state of disrobe.
It was too much for Hinata's mind to handle. It decided that this was all a VERY bad dream. Totally ignoring her puke-covered companion, hoping that he would disappear as all bad dreams did the next morning, she exited the bathroom gracefully and headed back to bed.
Naruto swallowed and took deep breathes before heading back into the shower stall for his second cold shower of the morning. Be assured that it wasn't only because of the puke.
In the confines of the warm cocoon of a bed she just arose from, Hyuga Hinata laid woodenly with her eyes clamped shut and willed herself to awake from this dream.
Don't get her wrong; any dream with Naruto-kun in it was a good dream, and one with a butt naked Naruto-kun in it was heavenly. But this dream was simply too realistic for her own comfort.
The clocked ticked away seconds and a slight breeze blew into the room. Her breathing evened out slowly, as she blanked her mind. She wasn't sure what prompted her to dream of such an unromantic scene in the bathroom; her usual dreams of the blonde ninja did not stray far from him in shining armor riding up and slaying the dragon (which weirdly enough, resembled her own father) and rescuing her from the locked tower. Even the naughtier ones were only of them kissing and touching each other.
But never had she conceived such an unusual dream involving the two of them...
In a sudden torrent, the memories of last night flooded back into her brain. She recalled with mortification her getting drunk, her stripping and parading around his apartment, her breaking down and being in his arms.
"You're really gay, aren't you," she burst out, tears flowing freely again. "Oh God, I knew it. They were right after all; all the good ones are dead, taken, evil or gay."
She burrowed deeper into the covers, wanting to die from shame. But the memory of their passionate kiss at the end sent tingles up her spine.
"I assure you, you are definitely the most beautiful woman I've seen naked."
Groaning, she covered her head with the pillow and willed herself into a state of sub-comatose instead.
"Wake up sleepy head," someone said, shaking on her shoulder softly. "It's almost noon already."
"Hmm?" she murmured sleepily. "Five more minutes. Nice dream."
"Oh? What are you dreaming of?"
"Naruto-kun. Naked. No puke."
Hot breath tickled her ear he leaned down and whispered, "Were you naked, too?"
He couldn't help chuckling slightly as he considered his options. In the end, he decided to give her the five minutes she asked for.
Like Jiraiya, he had always had a soft spot for pretty young things.
Especially pretty girls with short navy blue hair and eyes the color of vanillas.
The sounds and smells of a meal being prepared floated into the bedroom through the open door. She ignored it, wanting to continue her dream, but her stomach decided that a since half digested meal had been regurgitated earlier, it was high time it got fed.
The noise stopped. Hinata sighed as she sank back into the soft mattress contently.
Her digestive system refused to be deterred.
It growled louder.
Someone chuckled deeply from above her.
Suddenly, it occurred to Hinata that the kitchen in the Hyuga residence was located in the servant's wing, which was three miles away from the Hyuga main family's house in the Hyuga estate. The servants used Ninjutsu to teleport the food to the main dining room immediately after it was cooked; Father did not like his food cold.
That meant there was no way on earth she could possibly hear the sounds of a meal being prepared from her room in the main house.
And also, no one was allowed into her room besides her maid Hayako, her sister Hanabi and her father. It was obvious that it was a male chuckling from the deep baritone of the voice. But her father had not entered her room for anything since Hanabi was born and he certainly never showed any signs that he had ever possessed a sense of humor; not even a shred.
Sometimes, Hinata had caught herself thinking that her father's face had been carved out of stone by an apprentice mason: the workmanship was certainly very poor.
Naruto couldn't help grinning; he had heard her stomach growling all the way from the kitchen the first time. She was obviously reluctant to wake up; who would have thought that Hyuga Hinata was a laze-a-bed.
A small voice in Naruto spoke up in a most leery manner that he likes women who are laze-a-beds; so many possibilities in one place, so little time.
"Hinata-chan," he called out softly.
"Five more minutes, Hayako."
He paused a while and contemplated how he could best wake her up. In the end, he came up with only one solution. He could have come up with other solutions, we suppose, but this fan fiction author just jumps at whatever chance she can get to write them into a snog session... and maybe more. But that is for another day, my dear readers.
She felt a hand slip between the back of her head and the pillow that gently elevated. Something moist and warm fanned across her face, and the next thing she knew, a warm mouth had captured hers and a tongue probing between her lips for access. Responding languorously, she opened her lips slightly, and met it experimentally with her tongue.
Naruto groaned at her co-operation. What he had planned to be a light waking-up kiss had suddenly erupted into something that could lead to something else that they might regret later. Tearing his mouth away from her sweet lips took almost inhumane effort.
Kyubi howled at the sudden loss of sexual stimulation.
"Good morning, sleepyhead," he said huskily, inches away from her face.
Hinata opened her eyes slowly and gazed up at him dreamily. For some reason, she was feeling extremely contented and at peace. A random thought came to her that she had just been literally awakened with a kiss.
A less random thought hit her a second later when another blast of cool air came through the window, brushing across her naked breasts that had become uncovered when he lifted her head up. She quickly drew the blue sheets up to her chest in a belated effort to cover herself up and squeaked, "Naruto-kun."
He found it amusing; her futile action of concealing herself when he had seen everything there was to see. "Breakfast is ready," he told her with a smile, as though it happened every day – him finding naked women in his bed. "Or rather lunch in this case." He mussed her hair up fondly, "I never knew you were such a laze-a-bed, Hinata-chan."
She could only nod dumbly as he continued, "You can get something to wear from that chest and drawers there. My clothes are a little too big for you, but they will have to suffice until yours dries. They got soiled from last night's activities. So I had to put them in the wash."
They got soiled from last night's activities. So I had to put them in the wash. Suddenly, Naruto was aware of how wrong it sounded.
"Aah, take your time and come out for ramen when you're ready," he continued with forced cheerfulness. "The bathroom is there, as you already know," he finished, backing out of the door and closing it with a thud.
As soon as he was out of the room, and the door separated him and her, he bolted down the hall, into the second bath in the apartment, and into the shower stall. Without even bothering to close the stall and remove his clothes, he wrenched the tap and a cold shower of water sprayed directly in his face.
Hinata stared at the closed door, with a stoned expression plastered all over her face. Flopping back into her bed, she recalled his last words and started to laugh and cry at the same time.
"The bathroom is there, as you already know."
She finally came to terms that everything that happened was not a dream.
It was a nightmare happening in reality.
- XI -
When she finally emerged from the bedroom clad in the smallest shirt he had, which was still too big of her and had the tendency of slipping off one pale shoulder and his green boxers, he was sitting at the dining table, reading the papers with interest.
Actually, he wasn't really reading the papers; he was just staring at it and trying to decide what to do with Hinata.
"Naruto-kun," she called out softly, from the doorway.
"Ahh, Hinata-chan!" he said, plastering on a big goofy grin. "I made instant ramen; I'm afraid I didn't have time to step out for groceries."
She pulled back a chair and sat down. With a whispered, "Itadakimasu," she began her meal.
Naruto scratched his head and wondered how to broach the subject. He had been thinking about it randomly since last night as he watched her sleep.
"Ano, Hinata-chan," he begin.
Hinata swallowed, "Yes?" she croaked, her heart quickening.
"About last night..."
The girl suddenly felt very nauseous at his words and bowed her head, her face flushing beet red.
"It's okay," she whispered painfully, lowering her eyes and studied the bits of seaweed floating in her miso soup.
"No, what I did was inexcusable, unforgivable," Naruto continued. "And I'm prepared to take full responsibility."
"It's okay, really," she replied, on the verge of tears again. The last 12 hours had taken its toll on her already frayed nerves.
"No, it's not," Naruto insisted. "I should have known it was your first time, and you probably could not have handled it and all..."
Her head lowered another inch, and Naruto was pretty sure she'll have her face in the soup soon; she'll be drowning in it.
Unknown to Naruto, Hinata was finding the prospect of drowning in instant soup mix rather appealing, given her current circumstances.
"It's okay," she said a little louder and she steeled herself to say the next words. "It's only sex," she choked out. At the same time, Naruto said, "I shouldn't have let you drink so much."
They looked at each other in comical horror as the impact of each other's words sank in.
"You thought we had sex?" Naruto asked stupidly. Hinata could only nod.
He burst into loud guffaws of laughter, much to her chagrin. "What made you think so?" he asked, as he wiped his tears away. It came to him in a flash that he had been expressing more emotions in the last 12 hours with her than he had in the last 6 years.
"I was naked, in your bed... and this morning," she said haltingly. "And last night and the kisses..." she couldn't bring herself to continue. Bowing her head, she closed her eyes to keep the tears from spilling out.
Naruto got very flustered when he realized that she was wielding his mortal fear; tears.
Getting out of his seat, he knelt in front of her and tilted her chin. "Shhh," he hushed. "Don't cry," he said, wiping her tears away with the palm of her his hand.
For the life of him, he couldn't figure why she was crying. He knew many women who would sell their souls to Orochimaru for her body. Not that Orochimaru needed any souls since he was more interested in bodies and besides, we all know that Orochimaru has very deviant sexual preferences.
She finally calm down enough to ask in between sobs, "So, we didn't have sex?"
"No, we did not have sex," he confirmed firmly and muttered under his breath, "though not for lack of wanting on my part."
The weeping beauty in front of him heard him though and blushed prettily. "Then what happened after we... kissed?" She blushed even harder.
"You fainted," he said wryly. "And I carried you to the bed." And I spent two hours studying your every feature from your shoulders upwards and I would gladly spend the rest of my life studying your every feature from your shoulders downwards as well.
"Oh." She felt really foolish right then.
Naruto studied her face again, and suddenly a very reckless idea came to his head.
"Hinata-chan, will you be my girl?" he blurted out.
The Hyuga heir looked at him in astonishment, hardly daring to believe her ears.
"I mean, we can hang out more, go to the movies, dinner dates," he continued rambling. He stopped when he realized how incredibly anserine he sounded.
Tilting her chin up, he stared into her eyes that was her curse seal and said haltingly, "I'm not very good with words, Hinata-chan, but I like you and you like me. So why not give it a shot?"
"We're both lonely and it would be nice if we have someone to care for and who would care for us as well. In our line of work, we can never predict what happens tomorrow, or if there is a tomorrow. All we have is today, and we should treasure it the best we can."
"I'll try my best to make you happy," he continued with dead seriousness without breaking eye-contact. "I don't know how, but I'll take care of you, protect you and provide for you. And all you have to do is say yes."
Hinata looked deep into his eyes, wanting to believe his words yet too afraid to believe just yet. She was afraid that she would wake up and realize that it had been a dream all along.
But even if it was just a dream, she wanted to seize the chance to be selfishly happy for once. She wanted to make a decision for herself and entirely for herself without worrying about her father or the clan. She wanted the chance to finally be with the one she had admired from far for so many years.
"Yes," she whispered, tears falling. "YES," she said loudly, as if to proclaim her resolve to be with him and threw herself against him and they ended up on the floor, him on his back and her sprawled on top of him.
He held her close, suddenly feeling peaceful. Even the Fox seemed to be happy for the first time.
Or maybe it was simply echoing its vessel's thought.
Naruto groaned. There was always a 'but' in these scenarios...
Hinata pull back a little and looked at him bashfully, "Can we include kissing to our list of to do's?"
He laughed, a deep rumbling brought forth from the pit of his stomach as he pulled her down and did just that.
A kiss that was so sweet and beautiful that it was etched deep into their minds forever and chased all her fear that all this was only a dream, away.
- XII -
And that my dear readers, was how Konoha's number one Densest Ninja and Konoha's number one shyest kunoichi got together under the most unlikeliest of circumstances. What happens after they get together and whether Hiashi will explode when he finds out, you will just have to stay tuned for the next chapter of Second Best.
This is your resident whacko NaruHina fic mistress, Nutty Scribbler, signing out.
Wahh... it was great fun writing this. Second Best: Drunken Dreams is my LONGEST chapter in any fic by far, a whopping 7000 words totaling ten scenes of NaruHina goodness.
I have roughly another 3 or 4 more chapters before wrapping the fic up totally, but it'll take a bit longer for me to update as I'm quite busy these coming weeks. We must all thank Syao-chan for coming into this world on September the 27th or Second Best: Drunken Dreams wouldn't have been written so quickly.
Ok, a little note about characterization here:
Our dear sweet little icky blonde protagonist is all grown up here. Sasuke's departure has left him with deep scars and coupled with Kyubi's raving insanity, he's been through quite a bit, so to speak. He's slightly jaded and cynical here and a bit perverted. You can't expect him to survive six years of raging hormones being with Jiraiya and still be innocent, can you? Also, if he devised Sexy no Jutsu by time he was 12, I can safely say that Naruto was never really innocent to start with.
But I hope he is still essentially the dear Naruto-kun we know and oh-so admire.
Ahh – sweet Hinata-chan is a little more vociferous in this fic. Chalk it up to experience and growing up will you? Maybe a little OOC, too in the earlier parts but hey, she was stinking drunk. Anyway, according to my friend who does drink, for a first timer – by the time you down your third shot of tequila, you may believe that you're Elvis if you're misled to believe so.
She's more matured and calm. I think she's almost sad here and still totally hung up with Sasuke.
Well, that's all. Ratings may go up in later chapters. On a semi-unrelated note, do visit Himitsu Desu, a NaruHina Shrine which I'm part of and check it out. Loads of NaruHina goodies; no joke. Linkie can be found in my profile.
That's all! For real this time. And do drop a review telling me if you like it or hate it.