"Wow, I can't wait to get out of here!" Naruto yelled as he stretched his arms above his head. Hinata watched on, amused as Naruto could barely stand still inside of the small room they had been occupying for the past few weeks. She could tell he was just itching to get outside and get on their way.
"Oh! I almost forgot to tell you!" He exclaimed happily as he jumped onto the bed on his knees. She laughed some more as the mattress caused her to bounce up and down from his jumping. "I had another dream last night!"
Hinata's eyes widened at the revelation. He had told her the other days that he was getting dreams of people and places from his memories. Jiraiya had told her that it was possible that he was starting to remember and that it was just coming back to him through dreams.
"I dreamed there were these massive gates and walls in front of me as I walked along a path! It had this big symbol for fire on it and then I woke up as the gate started opening." She couldn't help but smile at the way he waved his arms around in the air to express the size of the gates of their village.
"That's Konoha, Naruto. It's our home." She told him happily as he smiled brightly at the news.
"That's so cool!" He said as he rolled his body backwards into a hand stand on the foot of the beds frame. Almost immediately it became a one handed stand as he pulled the other behind his back. Hinata only watched on as he displayed a sense of balance he had never before possessed.
"Naruto-kun? Since when could you balance like that-t-t?" She blushed as the black shirt he had been wearing before came loose from the black cargo pants he had been wearing. The shirt falling down over his face had no effect on his balance though as he pushed off the frame and landed back on it with his feet.
He smiled at her with bright eyes as he balanced there. "I don't know; I just feel so nimble right now. I feel like I could float through the air." She giggled as he once again began his balancing act on the bed frame.
"Come in!" Naruto shouted happily upside down. Kakashi opened the door holding a large brown cloak in his hands and looked at Naruto with a puzzled expression for a few moments before his eye creased in a smile. Without warning he tossed the cloak at the young man knocking him off the frame.
"Hey! What's the big idea?" Naruto sputtered as he got up of the ground with the cloak in his grip. Kakashi just pointed at the cloak before speaking.
"Throw it on; it's time to go home."
"Naruto, would you cut that out! What if someone spots us?" The pink haired girl yelled at the fox boy as he, once again, did several flips in the air past her as they jumped from tree to tree. The hood of the cloak had come off almost the second they got a foot into the forest, and since then, he had been jumping around to his heart's content all day.
For a second he stopped upside down at a tree ahead, hanging only by his tails. "Nope!" He laughed before leaping off again into the canopy above. Kakashi could only chuckle at the hyper blond as he would randomly fly in from different directions catching all of them off guard, only to laugh about it and take off again. Every once in a while he would fly in and peck Hinata on the cheek before taking off again, resulting in a ticked off Neji and slightly jealous looking Kiba.
"He most certainly is full of energy isn't he Kakashi?" he could hear Kurenai question him from behind as she caught up to run along side of him and Asuma.
"Hai. You can't really blame him after being stuck inside for so long though. Think about how it would feel to be trapped indoors as long as he was." Kakashi announced to the group, his eye crinkled up into a smile. Some of the group smiled along with Kakashi, while some still looked a little annoyed at the blond's antics.
This was when Naruto decided to take the opportunity to leap through the group and tap Kiba, Neji, and Sakura on the back of their heads before leaping off again into the tree's laughing.
"That's it! Get him!!" Sakura roared as hours of the blonds antics finally hit her last nerve and took off after the laughing blond with Kiba and Neji on her tail. The blond smiled merrily as he leapt over the first punch swung by the medic and jumped off her back and into another tree.
"He has a great sense of timing to interrupt the moment still I see." Kakashi muttered as several members of the group joined in on laughing with him. Watching in amusement as the three shinobi tried their best to flatten the playful kitsune.
"He's gotten much more agile." Asuma commented as he stared at the sight and Kakashi couldn't help but agree as Naruto jumped around and dodged the attacks as if they were nothing. Kakashi could tell that the group wasn't really trying to hurt Naruto, but they were still trying to hit him and teach him a lesson. Still though, the blond danced between their attacks with a childlike smile on his face.
"Haha you're never gonna catch me like that! Naruto taunted the three as he leapt backwards from tree to tree. He most certainly was only playing with them, but Kakashi was starting to wonder how much more abuse the three's ego could take without them getting seriously angry.
"I'LL KILL YOU NARUTO!" Sakura roared.
'Kind of surprised she lasted that long really…' Kakashi chuckled at the emotional pink haired student of his. Naruto still laughed though, as he dodged a chakra infused punch and pushed the girls back slightly, causing her to topple over, only fuelling her anger more.
It had been a while since Kakashi was able to laugh lightly about the antics of his former students. It was rare these days that he got to go with them on any missions, seeing as how they had all grown up and were taking solo missions these days. Their team had broken up long ago, but their bonds to each other still remained.
His eyebrows quickly furrowed in worry though as he noticed Naruto's ears turn away from the group and focus towards the east and Naruto's concentration drift away from his little play fight. Kakashi winced as Naruto paid for that moment in time with a very strong chakra infused punch to the stomach and was sent flying through several tree branches before crashing into the ground in a small crater below the group.
"Oh my god! Naruto!" Sakura yelled out in worry as she realized what she had done and leapt down towards the crater along with the rest of the group.
Kakashi stopped on a branch high above the rest of the group and peered off towards the east, in the same direction that Naruto had focused his attention on. Removing the head band from his eye he gazed into distance and saw nothing of interest with his sharingan. 'What did he hear?'
"What the hell?"
The shout roared from below him. Kakashi glanced down to see Naruto coming out of the crater looking perfectly fine. Even Kakashi had to arch his eyebrow a bit as Naruto simply dusted himself off with a smile as those with medical experienced fussed to make sure he was ok.
'He took one of Sakura's punches straight to the stomach and just brushed it off?' Kakashi wondered in amazement. 'I'll have to ask him about when I can catch him alone.'
"Anything I should know about Naruto?" Kakashi commented as he leapt down from the tree branch to join the group, landing directly in front of Naruto. He subtly nodded his head in the direction of the east, easily telling Naruto what he was talking about.
"Oh! No, nothing to be worried about." Naruto smiled as he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Umm do you think we could rest here tonight? I am feeling a little tired."
'Really?' Kakashi wondered as he nodded his head in acceptance of Naruto's proposal. Immediately the group started to unpack their equipment in the small clearing they were in and started to set up camp. Kakashi watched Naruto energetically help Hinata get her backpack off before they started setting up a tent together.
'He doesn't look tired at all.' Kakashi glanced around the woods again one last time. 'Why would he want to stay here tonight?'
She shifted her body trying to get more and more comfortable, but it seemed that no matter what she did, she couldn't manage to do it. She didn't have that same feeling of warmth that she had had for the past several days and was reaching around searching for it. She reached out for where it should be, but found nothing and frowned at that.
She opened her tired eyes to look next to her, finding nothing but empty blankets. It took a moment for her mind to register it, but a small panic quickly rose within her as she looked around for Naruto anywhere.
"Naruto-kun?" She whispered as she glanced around the dark tent. As soon as she realized he wasn't in there she began to sit up and put her jacket back on her body. She stepped out into the cool night air, the fire that had going earlier during their dinner was just a dull glow now, and she could see Kiba and Akamaru both sleeping in rather undignified positions on the ground.
'Aren't they supposed to be keeping watch?' Hinata thought as she looked at the pair. She was about to call out to them and wake them up to see if they knew where Naruto had gone when a soft blue light coming from the east caught her attention. Even though it was bright enough to cover the whole clearing in its glow, it didn't seem to alert any of the sleeping ninja.
Hinata thought for a moment about calling out to the others to get them to see this, but for some reason the words just couldn't seem to come out of her. She was just too entranced by this light. Quietly she made her way out of the camp and started walking to the east where this light was coming from. After about ten minutes of walking she started to hear the sound of rushing water and what sounded like laughing. She broke through some brush into a clearing and had to shield her eyes for a moment to let them adjust, but as soon as she could see clearly she gasped loudly at the sight before her.
Small plumes of blue fire hovered in the air several feet above her head, each one moving, seemingly randomly, around the entirety of the clearing. In the center of the clearing was a large tree covered from top to bottom in the same blue fire, but not burning at all. Hinata noticed that even with all this fire all around her, she felt no heat coming from it; the night was still cool and relaxing.
A laugh from the other side of the tree snapped her out of her trance and made her wonder where it came from. Slowly she circled around the tree and let out another gasp, immediately alerting those she was gazing upon.
Naruto lay on the ground near a river bank, his head upside down as he gazed at her with a lopsided grin. On top of his chest and surrounding him were nearly a dozen creatures that looked to be made of white flame. Hinata had to swallow the lump in her throat as she realized that whatever they were, they were all gazing at her.
The one on top of Naruto chest leapt off of him and slowly made its way towards her, it was then that Hinata realized exactly what it was she was looking at. It had a vulpine face, a long sleek body, and eight white tails wagging happily behind it. 'A Kitunse?!'
She almost took a step back before stopping when she noticed Naruto gazing at her intently with a grin on his face. The fox stopped at her feet then sat its haunches, before looking up at her and staring her in the eyes. In an instant she felt the same feeling that she got whenever Neji would read her emotions with his eyes, only much more intense and powerful. In the next moment it was over and she saw the kitsunes tails wave happily in the air. Immediately the rest of the group sprinted over to her and joined the first one.
"She likes you." Naruto smiled as he rolled over on his belly and gazed at her. He laughed at her when one of the kitsune put its front paws on her thigh and she felt a tingle run through her whole body. "They must really like you."
Some of the kitsune, noticing Naruto's laughter, ran back over towards him before leaping at him for another play fight, which Naruto happily participated in. Hinata giggled softly as she watched the much smaller kitsune's team up on her beloved.
"Naruto-kun? What is this?" Hinata laughed as the rest of the group surrounding her ran over to join their kin in battle against Naruto.
"Hah. They are zenko foxes!"
Hinata eyes widened even further then they had been before as she realized just what these foxes were. 'Messengers of Inari-sama…celestial foxes.'
"This is one of their homes!" Naruto shouted as he finally managed to break free of the group and make his way towards Hinata. She blushed lightly as she finally realized that Naruto was only wearing the bottoms of his pajamas. His well toned and tanned chest taking up most of her vision. "I was hoping you would come here."
His lips met hers in a searing kiss as he wrapped his arms around her waist. The kiss made her heart beat wild and her mind feel dazed. She was too lost in the kiss to notice that all of the foxes start to surround the two.
She broke away gasping for air. How did he make her feel like this? She could already feel herself getting addicted to it. "You left in the middle of the night?"
"Yeah, sorry." He apologized as he cupped her cheek with the palm of his hand. She couldn't help but lean into it. She would pout about how unfair it was that he had so much power over her, but too be honest she liked it too much to care. "I heard them earlier when we were traveling. I didn't know how they would react to me, so I didn't bring you."
"It's ok." She mumbled slightly embarrassed at the intimacy they were sharing right now. Her embarrassment was further intensified as she noticed all of the foxes happily gazing at the couple.
"It's so beautiful here." She mumbled, trying to divert the attention off of herself. Naruto smiled broadly as he gazed at the flames dancing in the sky.
"Yeah I know! This is their home." He said as he broke away from her. When he was a few feet away from her he raised the palm of his hand towards the sky. She watched in amazement when one of the same blue flames that were dancing in the night sky above them appeared in his palm. "I guess they do this during the night when they are bored. Fox fire."
"H-how did you do that?" She watched in amazement as he held the flame out towards her. He just shrugged and smiled and still held the flame.
"I don't know." He laughed as he threw the flame up into the sky where it joined the others already present. "When I walked into here they were already up in the sky. And I just thought how cool it looked and bam! One was in my hand."
She watched as he made another and held it towards her once again. Tentatively she reached her fingers towards the flame, not feeling any sort of heat coming from it. When her fingers finally passed through the flame, she was surprised to find it cool to the touch.
"Cool huh?" Naruto laughed at her face as he pulled the flame away from her hand. She was shocked though when he threw the flame towards one of the bushes at the edge of the clearing. Immediately there was nothing but ash left where it had once stood. "It only burns things I want it to burn."
"Amazing." She mouthed at the sight.
A loud bark snapped her out of her reverie as she noticed the fox with eight tails staring at them intently sitting on its haunches. Naruto laughed nervously and scratched the back of his head. "Yeah yeah I'm sorry."
Hinata's face must have given her confusion away, because Naruto immediately noticed that she was puzzled.
"She doesn't like me destroying things."
"Oh." Hinata was sure she still looked confused. "You understand her?"
"Hmmm I don't know." She had to brace her resolve as he gave her another dazzling smile that made her swoon. "I don't really hear the words. I just know what she's trying to say. Ya know?"
"I think I understand." She couldn't help but smile as she looked around the clearing. Many of the foxes were playing with each other, all of them had varying tails, but the one sitting by them was the only one with eight. She watched over the rest like a mother would. Naruto himself had gotten back into the spirit of playing it seemed, as he ran towards some with three tails and jumped into the fray. It didn't take long for the rest of the foxes in the clearing to join in the action with the newcomer.
'He looks so happy.' She thought as she watched him play with the other kitsune. 'What will it be like for him back at our home?'
Would he ever be as happy back in Konoha as he was right here? She shook her head furiously at the thought. 'No. Of course not. He would want to be back in Konoha with us…with me….right?'
At the same time these thoughts were running through her head she watched as the one with eight tails was making its way towards Naruto slowly. The fighting stopped almost as soon as she reached it and Naruto stood in front of the fox. One of its white tails wrapped around Naruto's arm and semi dragged the fox boy over towards Hinata barking its whole way over.
"Can't I play a little bit longer?" Naruto whined as the pair reached her, again the fox barked at him. "I won't be too tired to go home with her you old bat!"
The fox barked even louder this time with a small growl towards Naruto. "Oh please you can't hide it! I know how to count tails! You're at least eight thousand years old!"
Hinata watched eight tails used the rest of her remaining tails to hit Naruto in the back and shove him forward. She did her best to try and catch the blond, but the suddenness of the act and his weight caught her off guard. Next thing she knew, she was on the ground with his pleasant weight on top of her.
"You crazy old bat!" Naruto yelled at the fox as he got up off Hinata and picked her up in his arms. "What if that hurt Hinata!"
Hinata just blushed as they yelled back and forth at each other. As quickly as it began though, the argument stopped as the two just stared at each other. The rest of the foxes in the area also sat there watching the two, all lined up behind the eight tails.
"Thank you." She heard Naruto whisper out as he bowed down his head. The eight tails sat there and nodded her head back to Naruto. Without another word Naruto turned around with her still in his arms and started walking back towards the camp and away from the kitune's home. Hinata took the chance to glance back towards where were they had come from. The clearing was empty as if nothing had even been there.
"I'm glad we got to meet them." She heard Naruto say from above her.
"Yeah..." she said as she thought about just how happy Naruto had been there.
"Come on Hinata." Naruto said as he shook her slightly to snap her out of her thoughts, he must have seen the distant look on her face. "Let's go to our home."
She just smiled against his chest and snuggled deeper into his arms. She would enjoy this moment now, because who knows just how many more moments they will have like this after they get back.