Of chaste kisses and cherry blossoms


"Bye sis!" said Hanabi cheerily before dancing out of the dining room, her long, raven hair jerking with every step.

Neji and Hinata, the only ones left in the dining area, immediately leapt to each other's side, their heads huddled together while they whispered furiously.

"Hanabi was cheery," hissed Hinata.

"In the morning," agreed her cousin Neji, his eyes slightly wide with disbelief.

"She always a monster in the morning!" said Hinata furiously. "Yet, these few days. . ."

". . .she's been sweet, happy, and actually brightly awake," finished Neji, a flash of wonderment darting across his face. "Not that I'm complaining, of course. . ."

The cousins sat down, a thoughtful expression on their faces. They sat on the matted floor, seemingly staring at the rustling bamboo leaves outside their window.

Then silence, after a quiet moment of chirping birds, the two whirled around facing each other, both with a look of slight horror and incredulity.

"It can't be!" gasped Hinata.

"She has. . ." said Neji in a hushed whisper.

". . .a boyfriend!" finished the Hyuuga Heir. "She has a boyfriend!"

"Someone actually got that bossy spit-fire as his girlfriend!"


Sasuke and Sakura eyed the blond loudmouth carefully, noting his carefree attitude while he gobbled down his third bowl of ramen.

"Do. . .do you think he's really ok with us?" whispered Sakura hesitantly.

Sasuke shrugged, but worry flashed in his eyes.

"Hey, look, he's leaving!" he suddenly hissed, focusing on the blonde who departed from the Ramen Bar and went into a classy restaurant across the street. "That's strange. . .what could Naruto want there? He never liked classy restaurants."

Sakura and Sasuke shared a puzzled look.

"Look, he's out! He ordered a take-out," pointed the pink-haired kunochi.

"Let's follow him."

The butterflies fluttered wildly in the swaying grass, darting about in tall, sun-beaten stalks.

Naruto slowly walked through the shrub, a serene smile on his face. He stomped past the tall grass, sitting down quietly on edge of the cliff beside the second Hyuuga heir.

They were silent; only a faint whistle of the wind filled the area. Naruto set the take out bag on the ground, opening it and pulling out a medium sized bowl.

"Here, Hanabi-san," said Naruto softly.

The Hyuuga stared at the food for a long moment, before wordlessly accepting it. Peeling the cover open, her eyes widened slightly in surprise when she saw her favourite dish, unagidonburi (eel and rice).

She split the wooden chopsticks apart, grasping them loosely between her fingers. The girl slowly tore a piece of the unagi, and placed it in her mouth, savouring the salty-sweet taste of the eel.

Naruto chuckled at her delighted expression. Hanabi slowly chewed and swallowed, before sticking her tongue out in a childish but friendly manner at the blonde.

"How did you know this was my favourite food?" the Hyuuga asked as she continued to eat her lunch.

"Hinata once told me that the best way to pacify you would be to get you eel and rice," said Naruto, amusement evident in his voice. "I guess it's true."

Hanabi scowled, but soon shrugged the expression off and dissolved into giggles. "I guess you've found my weakness, Uzumaki."

The blonde only grinned widely in reply.

A silence filled the area again. Hanabi quickly finished up her food, setting the empty bowl into the ground and delicately wiping her mouth with a handkerchief.

"Naruto. . ."

The blonde looked at her, his eyes curious. The Hyuuga maiden sighed and fell backwards to the ground. She rested her head on her hands, staring up to sky.

"Where do we go from here?" she asked, half whispering.

Naruto raised an eyebrow, and fell beside the girl, his head propped on his elbow while his fingers idly played with the raven locks of her.

"I don't know, Hanabi," confessed Naruto. He dropped onto his back, slinging his hand behind the Hyuuga and draping it across her stomach as she snuggled closer into him.

"Hn. That's normal I guess," drawled Hanabi in a soft sarcasm.

"Sarcastic tone, Hana-chan?" replied Naruto. "How unlady-like, eh?"

"Shut up, Uzumaki," she hissed in mock anger. A soft chuckle drifted into the blonde's ear.

The two laid in an companionable tranquillity, both watching the clouds float pass aimlessly.

Neji nearly fainted when he saw what he had seen.

"Uzumaki and Hanabi!" he hissed, barely retaining enough sense to keep his voice down.

Hinata only managed to nod dumbly. Never in her wildest dream would the Hyuuga heir have guessed Naruto has as a prospective boyfriend of her sister.

"I must be dreaming. Slap me, cousin," muttered Neji, his head buried in his hands.

"I never knew Hanabi was interested in Naruto," said Hinata, a thoughtful expression crossing her face while she stared wispily at the pair.

Neji followed her gaze, silently observing them.

"What would your father say, Hinata? He had always expressed an open hatred of Naruto. . ."

Hinata bit her lower lip, a troubled look flashing across her face. "I don't know, Neji. . .I really don't."

"I'm bored, Naruto," sighed Hanabi sleepily while she trailed her finger in a continuous circle on the blonde's chest. The girl shifted, turning her head upwards to look into Naruto's eyes.

Naruto raised an eyebrow. "What do you wanna do, Hanabi?" he murmured.

"Actually. . .I don't know." Hanabi sighed again. "I guess I'm being weird again, huh, Nar - eek!"

The girl yelped in surprise as long, silken tentacles wrapped themselves firmly around her, lifting her high up in the air.

"Uzumaki!" she shrieked, glaring at the chuckling blonde, whose hair was an overflowing mass of white, writhing strands.

"Aww. . .c'mon Hanabi! Weren't you bored?" Naruto winked and pointed to his hair, which were around the girl's waist.

"Uzumaki! I'm warning yooooooooooou!"

Her threat was lost when the blonde started running, grinning widely as he stomped noisily about the tall grass. Hanabi felt the wind sweep through her raven locks and swirled around her in a wild, euphoric manner. She lost her scowl and broke into a fit of giggles, laughing while she spread her arms out horizontally like a bird. Her silver orbs flashed with a high thrill, sparkling with a jubilant shine.

Naruto looked up, watching with a serene sense of delight and joy. The butterflies fluttered in erratic swoops around the couple, flapping their wings soundlessly while they settled on a flower.

The blonde lowered Hanabi till she was face to face with him. He grinned.

"Still bored, Hana-chan?" he said, an amused glint in his eyes.

The girl just lunged at him, wrapping her arms around the surprised boy. Naruto stuttered in surprised, before feeling an indescribable and an incredible warmth envelop his body.

"Thank you, Naruto-kun," Hanabi whispered.

They shared a silent embrace under the soft sunlight while the dancing butterflies twirled in wordless songs of joy.