Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. If I did, Temari and Sai would die and leave Shikamaru to live happily ever after with Ino.
Summary: It's time for a trip to the zoo! But will this trip cause happiness or heartache for the kunoichis of Konoha?
Author's Notes: Everyone is 18 except for Tenten, Neji, and Lee, who are all 19. Also, there are small spoilers such as the fact that Tenten, Lee, Shikamaru and Ino are chuunins, and Neji is a jounin. This takes place sometime during Naruto ll, but I don't feel like really getting into depth with all that. Sasuke isn't with Orochimaru anymore and everyone knows about the Kyuubi.
I'm sorry if people are OOC. I haven't read every single manga or watched every anime episode (I skip around from episode to episode) so don't get mad if I get something wrong or spell some ninja term incorrectly.
Chap. 3 Summary: Hinata just recently found out about the Kyuubi inside Naruto. She doesn't know how to tell Naruto that she's okay with the demon. Upon seeing the tiny fox at the zoo, she suddenly gets an idea…
The Kunoichis' Animals
Fennec Fox: Naruto x Hinata
"Hinata! Hinata!" A hyperactive blonde boy called out to the Hyuuga heiress. Hyuuga Hinata blushed a deep crimson as Uzumaki Naruto ran over to her, his cheeks flushed from his run from the other side of the building. "Hinata, you'll never guess what I saw!"
"W-what was it, Naruto-kun?" the girl asked quickly, seeing that Naruto was about to burst at the seams with his news.
His eager expression brightened immensely as he exclaimed, "It was a raccoon dog! And not just any raccoon dog. It had dark rings around its eyes, making it look like Gaara! A raccoon looks likes Gaara! You have to see it, Hinata!"
Giggling, Hinata opened her mouth to tell the blonde that he had said the exact same thing when he saw the monkey with the dark rings around its eyes. But before she could even utter a word, Haruno Sakura slammed her fist into Naruto's head, screaming, "You idiot! You said the same thing when you saw that monkey with the dark rings around its eyes. Stop wasting Hinata's time!"
Naruto, beaten to the ground on account of Sakura's super strength, grinned sheepishly. Rubbing his aching head, the blonde muttered, "Ano...gomen Hinata."
"That's a-all right, Naruto-kun. I d-didn't mind. In fact, I'd like to see the monkey t-that looks l-like Gaara-san." Hinata let out a small smile as she watched Naruto's crystalline blue eyes light up with excitement. Cheering in his usual loud voice, Naruto grabbed Hinata's hand to lead her to the raccoon dog exhibit...
...just as Inuzuka Kiba got a hold of Hinata's other hand.
The Hyuuga heiress grimaced as both her arms were tugged in two separate direction. The boys stopped what they were doing whn they noticed that Hinata was not trailing after them. When they saw each other holding Hinata's hands, they let out a series of growls.
"Kiba, what do you think you're doing? Hinata's coming to see the Gaara-look-a-like with me." Naruto commented sharply.
"Well, Hinata promised me that we'd go to the wolf exhibit." Kiba answered with a firm yank on Hinata's hand. The girl stumbled a bit near her teammate.
"Why should she look at wolves when she's always hanging out with you, dog boy?" Naruto's grip on Hinata's hand became almost possessive. Wincing, Hinata wished they'd let ho. She was not used to holding a boy's hand, much less two boys' hands, and it made her nervous to think that one of those hands was Naruto's. Well, she was holding Kiba's han, too, but who cared about an old teammate when their long time crush was holding their hand?
Kiba growled at the blonde, ready to strike him with a verbal insult when Sakura interrupted by hitting both boys on the head. She sighed when they cowered on the ground, holding their heads in agony. "You idiots! Don't you see that you were hurting Hinata?"
With guilt adorning their faces, Naruto and Kiba uttered their apologies to the Hyuuga heriess. Hinata forgave them immediately, although she berated them in her mind for not realizing she didn't like being in the middle of their fights.
Once Kiba and Naruto were off the floor and were done whining about the injuries Sakura had inflicted upon them, Hinata turned to Naruto and told him, "I-I'm sorry, N-Naruto-kun, but I did promise Kiba-kun earlier that I'd see the wolves with h-him." She flashed the blonde an apologetic smile as Kiba took her hand and led her to the wolf exhibit. She didn't even see the pout on Naruto's face when he watched the two walk away hand in hand.
Half an hour later, Hinata was sitting next to Shino on a bench near the anteater exhibit. The rest of the group was standing near them, debating (more like arguing) about where to go next. The Hyuuga would have been with Kiba, but the boy had been thrown out of the zoo, since the zoo employees just wouldn't tolerate it when he tried to "rescue" the wolves from "imprisonment". And the employees had also not liked it when Kiba had shouted at them that they were monsters and that they should be ashamed of themselves for caging up precious canines that should be able to run around freely. One security guard had not been particularly pleased when Akamaru bit his ankle.
So once Kiba was left to spend the rest of the day in the bus, Hinata was left to spend her time in the company of his other teammate. And it wasn't that Hinata was bothered by this. Shino was a good friend.He just didn't talk and at that moment, Hinata was desperate for conversation (it's never any fun to go to a zoo and not be able to have a friendly chat). That, and the Hyuuga heiress was getting tired of having to shoo away the bugs surrounding her.
"Hinata?" the female byakugan user looked up. The blonde form earlier was smiling down at her. She blushed under Naruto's intense gaze, and then ducked her head, trying not to let her crush see the deep crimson her cheeks and turned. "Hinata, you wanna go see the Gaara-look-a-like now?"
Hinata looked over at her companion to ask if he minded if she left with Naruto. But Shino seemed otherwise preoccupied with discretely helping an army of ants escape from the anteater exhibit. It turned out that the Aburame wasn't being discrete enough, seeing as in the next moment security guards were running towards him, and he was trying to gather as many ants in his jacket before he fled form the scene of the crime. Both Hinata and Naruto watched the event with dumbfounded expressions. Hinata, in particular, wondered why she had to have such strange, animal/bug-obsessed friends.
"N-Naruto-kun, I think it's best if we go see that raccoon dog n-now." Hinata suggested. The boy's dumbfounded look was replaced by his usual carefree grin and he grabbed Hinata's hand, leading her to the raccoon dog exhibit.
Two hours later, Naruto and HInata were wandering around the zoo, looking for another exhibit to venture. They left the raccoon dog exhibit awhile before, with Naruto once again marveling over how the animal looked like his Kazekage friend (Hinata had to admit, it did look like Gaara, right down to the scowl it seemed to give Naruto). During their walk, Hinata couldn't help but note that Naruto's hand was still pleasantly wrapped around her own. The Hyuuga chose not to point this out to the boy, fearing that if she did, he would let go. And Hinata rather liked the warmth radiating from the callused fingers clasped around her own and the tingling sensation as their plams pressed together. So there was no way she'd do anything to mame him let go of her hand.
It...it feels like a date, Hinata let out a long mental sigh. Then, frowning, she though to herself, With my luck, someone form the Hyuuga estate will see us and tell father. And it'll most likely be Neji-nii-san.
"Oh, uh, y-yes, Naruto-kun?" She stuttered. Her stuttering problem had gotten much better in Naruto's two and a half year absence. But ti always seemed to creep back up on her, especially if Naruto was around.
She took a step back, her fingers fidgeting together, an old habit, like her stuttering, she had stopped until Naruto returned to Konoha. She looked at the boy to find him staring back at her with a worried expression. Looking at the ground, her long dark hair fell over her face, hiding the redness of her cheeks.
"Are you not feeling well, Hinata?" Naruto asked, the concern obvious in his voice. He took a step towards her, placing a hand on her forehead. "Your face is flushed. Do you want to go back to the bus?"
Moving her head to the side, so as to stop him from touching her forehead (and to stop causing her blush to turn darker or cause her to faint), Hinata spotted another exhibit. She pointed at it and announced, "N-Naruto-kun, let's go look over there!"
Naruto glanced over at where she was pointing. Givin a small msile to Hinata, he grabbed onto the hand that she had pulled out of his grasp and they walked to the exhibit.
"Naruto-kun, look at that one!" Hinata pointed to a small tan fox with big ears that was chasing after a barely visible fly. Hinata read the information on the fox. "It's called a Fennec fox. The desert dwelling fennec is one of the twelve species of vulpine foxes. It has the largest ears of any fox, in proportion to the size of its body, using its ears to cool itself and to detect the sounds of predator or prey."
Naruto watched as the small fox jumped a bit to try and catch the fly. He let out a low chuckle at the fox's antics, and it was then that Hinata knew something was wrong. Naruto did not chuckle. Naruto laughed raucously, like an insane, hyperactive monkey. Hinata observed her crush and noticed that he was smiling a small, bitter smile as he watched the fennec fox. She noted that the hand holding hers had slipped out of the hold, and was now at his side, clenched tightly. But what could make the usually overly-hyperactive shinobi so...non-overly-hyperactive? The Hyuuga heiress looked back at the fox, then at her crush and suddenly everything clicked into place.
"G-Gomen, N-Naruto-kun!" Hinata clasped her hands together and looked at the blonde with a guilty face. Naruto looked back at her with a rather confused look on his face. "T-the fox...a-and the Kyuubi...Gomen nasai! I-I wasn't thinking of you when I said I wanted to see this exhibit!" She held her hands over her face and muttered, "I hope I didn't offened you, Na-Naruto-kun."
Naruto's face seemed to look even more somber at the mention of the nine-tailed fox. He tilted his head so he wouldn't have to look at his companion. His intense blue eyes were laden with what seemed like shame. "Don't worry about it, Hinata. Let's go look at other animals now."
It had been half an hour. Naruto and HInata were walking in circles. How they managed to do that, Naruto just couldn't understand. He was following the directions on the map (Hinata had managed to pick one up after they visited the raccoon dog exhibit), and he had checked thousands of times to make sure the map wasn't upside down or sideways. But no matter what direction they went, it always led them back to that stupid fox.
Naruto had trouble looking at the fennec fox. It reminded him so much of the Kyuubi (except that is wasn't as big as a whale or had nine tails, but still, it was a fox). Being reminded of the demon fox inside him brought back the painful memories of his lonely childhood. Sure, he had a bunch of close friends now, but nobody could understand how hurtful it was to have the entire village hate you for something that was out of your control. And it hurt when he thought of the many people who still
hated him, despite all th goods deeds he'd done for Konoha.
But HInata didn't hate him. She had never hated him. Sakura had hated him, and so had Ino, and maybe even Tenten, and so had every other girl that knew him. But Hinata hadn't.
"N-Naruto-kun?" Hinata's soft voice pulled him away form his thoughts. How he adored that voice. It was calm, quiet, but there was a hidden strength in it. And that stutter! It was so cute! If she were any cuter, Naruto would gobble her up faster than a bowl of ramen at Ichiraku.
She poked her two petite fingers together, looking at him with a red haze staining her cheeks. Grinning at the Hyuuga heiress, Naruto asked, "What's up, Hinata?"
Hinata pushed her fingers closer togehter, her head bowed so she could examine the ground. In that quiet voice of hers, she announced, "I-I think it's cute! The f-fox, I m-mean!" She sneaked a glimpse at Naruto to see he was staring at her with a blank expression. Hinata took that as her cue to continue. "And not just the fennec fox. I-I t-think all foxes are c-cute. E-even the K-Kyuubi, and I've never seen it."
The blank look on the dobe's face was replaced with his trademark grin. Hinata gave him a small smile in return. Then, with a mischievous smirk, Naruto pointed to himself and asked, "What about me? Some people say I look like a fox. Does that mean I'm cute, too?"
His question made Hinata turn a brand new shade of red. Naruto only grinned at the Hyuuga heiress as she began stuttering intelligible words and her fingers pressed together at a more frantic pace. When his stare became too much for her, Hinata finally blurted out, "Y-yes!" She quickly rushed to put her hands over her mouth, not believing what she had just told Naruto. She closed her eyes tightly, afraid of Naruto's reaction.
"Thanks, Hinata." the girl opned her eyes. Naruto ad taken a couple of steps towards her, so now they were only inches apart. Naruto grinned at her, leaning forwards slightly. Surprising her, he pressed his lips against her cheek. He let them linger there just long enough for Hinata's face to turn 100 more shades of red. When he pulled his lips away, Hinata placed a hand on her cheek and stared wide-eyed at him. Naruto only smiled in return and turned around, looking for somewhere else to go.
The boy's eyes widened to the size of saucers as he spotted a small ramen shop hiding behind the elephant exhibit. Throwing his hands in the air in excitment, he cheered, "Hinata! Ramen! W ehave to eat there!...Hinata?" The dobe turned around to find the Hyuuga heiress on the ground.
She had fainted.
Laughing to himself, Naruto picked the unconscious girl up and turned to walk towards the ramen stand. As he was turning, he spotted the fennec fox staring at him from its enclosure. The two had a staring contest for a minute until Naruto grinned at the fox, mentally thanking it because it had led to Hinata admitting she thought Naruto was cute. And then that had led to the kiss on her cheek. And then that led to her fainting. And that led to Naruto kissing her lips at that moment as he held her in his arms.
Little did Naruto know that just as he kissed Hinata, she was waking up from her fainting spell. The Hyuuga heiress was surprised when she felt Naruto's warm lips on top of hers, but after a millisecond, she returned the kiss, startling the boy. He fell backwards onto his butt from surprise, with Hinata landing on his lap. Laughing sheepishly, he apologized. Hinata responded with a kiss. Wrapping his arms tighter around her, Naruto deepened the kiss, liking the way his and Hinata's lips fit perfectly together. He gave a small nibble to Hinata's lower lip, causing the girl to giggle and pull him closer to her.
The kiss ended when the two felt a dark presence near them. Looking up, they found Neji standing over them, Tenten laughing nervously as she waved hello to them. Both Naruto and Hinata cowered in fear as they saw the dark aura surrounding the other Hyuuga. The air around Neji seemed to spark with his anger and the dark look in his white eyes rivaled Uchiha Itachi's.
Naruto waved at the two newcomers nervously. "Hey, Neji, Tenten. W-where've you guys been?" He gave a nervous laugh but shut up immediately as Neji's gaze narrowed.
"Y-yeah, Neji?" Naruto couldn't help but dread with what the byakugan user said next.
"Run while you can."
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Yeah, I know this chapter is WAY overdue, but at least I finally finished it, right? I was hoping to have it up on Dec. 27, Hinata's b-day, but...yeah...that didn't happen.
Anyway, I got school off today! Snow days are wonderful, aren't they? Except, now I have to go to school on President's day because we used up all our snow days. Stupid snow. And now I have to type up my final copy of my english research paper. English bites...
Well, after this, there's the SasuSaku chapter, then one more chapter with every couple. Then this fic will be completed. I hope you all liked this chapter. I was really tentative about writing this because I'm not good at NaruHina (ShikaIno and NejiTen are what I specialize in). So if this chapter completely sucks...I'm sorry. I'm also sorry if anyone seems OOC. I've only written one other NaruHina (which you can look at on my profile and read and review it!).
Thanks to everyone that reviewed so far and everyone who has read it but haven't reviewed. I've got over 1600 hits for this story. Isn't that just awesome? I think it's awesome!
OMG! Naruto Shippuden comes out tomorrow! ONE MORE DAY! I CAN'T WAIT! I get to see Shikamaru all grown up (okay...I get to see him when he's 15, but whatever)!!!!!!! I CAN HARDLY WAIT! WHY CAN'T THURSDAY COME FASTER????????
Virtual Valentine's Day cookies for anyone who reviews!!!!!!!!! Come on people, don't you want these yummy virtual cookies?????
Summary for Chapter 4: Black Rooster: Sasuke x Sakura
Sakura tries her hardest to enjoy Sasuke's grim, silent company, but to no avail. She decides to make a humorous comparison between him and a very unique black rooster, unaware of the rewarding consequences...