Ramen in the Snow

Uzumaki Naruto hummed silently to himself as he walked home in the snowy night. He was bundled in layers of clothes, and his boot-clad feet kicked up the snow in his path. There were no gloves on his hands, but the dobe paid no heed to the bitter cold. There was only one thing on his mind, and that was the white box he held in his arms.

Not long before, Naruto had returned from a mission. After he reported the mission, he had the sudden urge to eat ramen. This happened every day, and Naruto knew better than to ignore his urge for ramen. So he had headed to Ichiraku, just as they were closing up for the day. Noticing the disappointed expression on the blonde's face when he came to their shop, Ayame and her father had whipped up a bowl for him to take home and eat.

Humming louder, Naruto tried to restraining himself from skipping on the way to his apartment. He had been gone from Konoha for a week due to his mission, and he had dearly missed the ramen from Ichiraku. Hugging the box containing the ramen closer to his chest, the young man hurried along at a steady pace. He would've run home immediately to eat his delectable dish, but the snow prevented him from doing so. The snow had been tolerable before he left for his mission, but when he came back, it seemed that an unexpected blizzard had come upon the leaf village. Now snow covered every millimeter of Konoha, and Naruto had found it was difficult to walk through. He had tried running several times, but he was forced to stop when he had almost slipped on a hidden sheet of ice.

Naruto hoped he would get home soon. He did not want the ramen to get cold. He could always reheat it when he got to his apartment, but then it just wouldn't be the same. Ramen always tasted better when it hadn't been reheated. Urging himself to move faster, the blonde sent chakra to his feet, quickening his pace. He ran over the snow, his chakra-filled feet carrying him along smoothly. If only he had thought of using chakra sooner!

But if Naruto had slowed down just a little bit, he would have noticed the trap set out before him. Alas, it was too late, and in the next second, the shinobi was falling at a rapid speed, screaming as his face came into contact with the hard, snowy ground. Upon hearing someone near him laughing raucously, Naruto raised his head, just in time for him to see Konohamaru running away from the scene of the crime. Growling, the blonde reached down to his feet, where they had become ensnared in a string that had once been tied to two opposite trees. Naruto vowed to make Konohamaru pay the next day for making him trip on the string.

A sudden urge to look around came over the Uzumaki. Taking a quick glance at his surroundings, Naruto was horrified to see that the box holding his bowl of ramen had fallen to the ground. It was opened, and near it was the bowl with the ramen, upside down, its contents melting the snow on the ground. Rushing to the overturned ramen bowl, Naruto panicked. What should he do? Should he get Sakura? Could she save his ramen before it was too late? Oh, what should he do?

The warm broth was eating away through the snow like Chouji ate away through his potato chips. If Naruto didn't act fast, it would melt through all the snow and be tainted by the dirt ground underneath. That just couldn't happen! He wouldn't let it happen! Making sure no one was watching him (imagine if Sakura came and saw him eating yellow snow!), Naruto took a handful of the fallen ramen and shoveled it into his mouth...

...and then he spit it right back out again.

Who knew ramen could taste so good, and then taste so horrible when it was mixed with snow? Looking around eagerly, Naruto tried to find something else, like a shop where he could buy some other food that would rid him of the taste of ramen-tasting-snow. Sadly, he found no place, and he was stuck with the disgusting aftertaste of the ramen-tasting-snow. The blonde hung his head in defeat.

His ramen was gone...He had nothing to rid him of that terrible taste...His clothes were being soaked because he was sitting in the snow...

"N-Naruto-kun?" asked as timid voice.

Naruto swiveled his head around to see Hyuuga Hinata staring at him curiously with those pearl-colored eyes of hers. Oh, how he loved those eyes. And that magnificent hair, cascading down her back like a violet waterfall. She was beautiful. If only he could just sit and stare at her all day. She had blossomed quite a bit since he had been away, training with Jiraiya.

And it wasn't just her looks he liked about Hinata. He remembered how cute she was when she was always stuttering, back in their genin years. She still stuttered, but not as frequently as he remembered. She was encouraging, always supporting him when he needed it the most, like when he had run into her at the training grounds before his match against Neji during the final chuunin matches. He had never noticed how precious she was to him until he got back from his training. Hinata was the most perfect girl, even more perfect than Sakura could ever be. Yes, indeed she was...

He halted his thoughts. Hinata wouldn't like that her friend was thinking such absurd things about her! She'd probably never want to be near him again if she knew what was going through his mind at that moment. Grinning sheepishly, he greeted, "Hey, Hinata."

"W-what a-are you doing on the ground, Naruto-kun?" Hinata asked worriedly, clenching her hands over the cup she held in her hands. "A-aren't you cold, sitting in the snow?"

It finally hit him, how cold it was, as if the chill had driven straight to his bones. He got up and brushed the excess snow off of him. "I guess it is pretty cold!" he laughed nervously, scratching the back of his head. Then, noticing the mug in her hands, he pointed and asked, "Oi, Hinata, what have you got there?"

"O-oh, just some hot cocoa." Hinata said, her cheeks turning a bright pink. Naruto couldn't tell if it was from the cold or something else, but he decided she looked even extra cute with the pink tinge. He swallowed nervously, and that horrible ramen-snow taste forced itself back into his mind. He needed to get rid of that taste!

Then, an idea slammed into his brain, and he asked, "Hinata! May I have some hot cocoa?" Without waiting for an answer, he snatched the mug from her grasp and held it over his mouth.

Nothing came out.

Squinting at the cup, Naruto noticed it was...empty. His face fell as Hinata explained, "I just drank the last of it, just as I saw you putting that yellow snow into your mouth." She glanced wearily at the puddle of melted snow slush and ramen. "What...i-is that a-anyway?"

Grabbing onto her shoulders desperately, Naruto whined, "Hinata!IdroppedmyramenfromIchirakuandItriedeatingitwiththesnow,butittastedsohorrible,andnowIdon'tknowwhattodobecauseI'vegotthishorribletasteinmymouth,andIcan'tgetridofit,and--"

As Naruto paused to take a breath, Hinata replied, "N-Naruto-kun, you can come inside with me and get something else to eat. I-I could m-make some more hot cocoa for y-you."

Naruto glanced over the girl's shoulder, noticing that he was standing in front of the Hyuuga household. Wincing, he turned back to Hinata with a scared face. Naruto did not want to go inside. What if Neji were in there? Even though they had long-since become friends, the blonde was still very weary of the Hyuuga prodigy. And then there was Hyuuga Hiashi, Hinata's father, who Naruto had heard grim tales of. He did not want to cross the path of him for sure.

Gazing at Hinata, Naruto stared at her lips. They were pink, more so from the cold. His face drew nearer to hers, as if those beautiful lips were enchanting him, calling on him to move closer and closer and closer until...

They were kissing. Naruto waited a moment before he felt Hinata responding to his kiss, pressing her lips against his, sending waves of joy through the boy. Slipping his arms around her waist, he could feel Hinata linking her own hands around his neck, bringing them closer to deepen the kiss. His grip around her tightened, not wanting the moment to stop. He loved Hinata, and he didn't want to let her go for anything.

The kiss ended, but they did not pull away from their embrace. Naruto stared deeply into Hinata's eyes, his usual cheery grin adorning his face. He licked his lips. They tasted like hot cocoa. Hot cocoa and Hinata. It was a wonderful taste, much better than the ramen-snow taste. He found himself wanting more.

But he didn't want to scare Hinata. Sure, she had responded willingly to his kiss, but what if he kissed her again and seemed too eager? And what if he kissed her again and Neji or her father happened to see them? He wouldn't be living for much longer if that happened.

So, unhappily, Naruto let go of Hinata, the warmth from her embrace leaving him as he did so. He shoved his hands in his pockets and smiled at her, noticing that the deep pink tinge in her cheeks had gotten darker.

"So, Hinata?" He asked shakily, trying to conceal his nervousness behind his grin. "You want to go to Ichiraku with me tomorrow?"

Her eyes widened and her lips, swollen from their kiss, broadened into a great big smile. "I-I'd love to, Naruto-kun."

His grin widened, if that were even possible, "Great! I'll see you tomorrow then!" He waved goodbye and ran down the street, forgetting to put some chakra in his feet before he did so. Hinata giggled when she watched him slip on the ice and fall flat on his face.

Hyuuga Neji stared disapprovingly as Uzumaki Naruto fell into a mound of snow. He had been watching him and his cousin for awhile, and his narrowed eyes had narrowed even further when he witnessed their kiss. If he ran outside at that moment, he could catch Naruto before he reached his home, and then, Uzumaki Naruto would be no more. He would make sure of that.

"Would you stop glaring at the window like it was going to suddenly jump at you with a knife?" From the dining room table, Tenten tapped her fingers impatiently. It was too cold for them to be training, so she had stopped by to spend the day with her teammate. She slid a mug towards him and lifted her own mug of hot cocoa to her mouth. "Drink your hot cocoa. I come all this way to make you a special family recipe of mine, and all you do is stare out that window. Maybe I shouldn't come over anymore if this is the way you're going to treat me."

Neji turend to to bun-haired kunoichi, smirking. "Hn. You couldn't leave me alone if you tried."

Blushing, Tenten inched the mug on the table closer to him. "Just drink your hot cocoa already."

Smug smirk still in place, Neji sat down to drink the chocolatey goodness his teammate had prepared for him. Flashing a small, barely visible smile as he watched Tenten tell him about this new weapon she saw in the window of some shop the other day, Neji decided, he could always wait until tomorrow to kill Naruto.

Yeah, the idea for this came to me after I tried ramen-snow...it was NASTY!! I advise you NEVER to put ramen in snow and eat it!! Yes, I am aware that I am a crazy physco.

Anyways, I thought this would be a cute, short-n-sweet NaruHina oneshot. And I decided to write it so I could practice with NaruHina before I started writing chapter 3 of the Kunoichis' Animals (yeah, I am aware that that fic is in need of an update...hehheh...sweatdrop). But don't get your hopes up if you read Kunoichis' Animals and think I'm going to update really soon. Because the truth is...I have a very major case of Shikamaru-ism...I tend to be very lazy. Which means I probably won't work on The Kunoichis' Animals...until people start threatening to kill me...

This was my first NaruHina fic, so I really need to know if it's good or not. So, leave me some feedback and tell me what you think