Disclaimer:I am NOT Kishimoto Masashi, I did NOT create Naruto, nor do I own it.
Chapter Two: Serving A Sentence
Long blades of soft grass swept over her body as she lay a few hundred yards from the training area. Hyuuga Hinata often enjoyed relaxing in the tall grass after training. Especially when the flowers were in bloom, that was her favorite time of year. It was always so beautiful and calming in this place, but she knew that she would have to leave soon. She had spent a lot of time over the past few days training, never spending more than a few hours at her home, unless she was sleeping. She almost preferred it that way. The Hyuuga Compound was always a stressful place for her to be in, even after all these years. Relations with her father had gotten better, but that didn't mean that she still felt comfortable around him. Everyone in direct contact and relation with her knew that. She almost openly avoided him at times, but she knew it was disrespectful to do so. And now she had to go back because she wanted to get cleaned up, so after a few minutes the Hyuuga heiress forced herself to her feet and started back to her home. She knew that she needed to talk to Naruto as well. She hadn't seen him in the past few days either, not that she was avoiding him, their paths had just never crossed lately. She decided that after she cleaned up a little she would head out to find him. She needed to make sure he knew she wasn't mad at him. After that, plans were up in the air, and trying to figure something out captured most of her attention as she walked home.
"Tadaime!" she called, pushing the door open. "Otousan!? Imouto!? Neji-niisan!?" She slid her shoes off as she closed the door behind her. "Is anyone here?"
"O-kaeri nasai," a voice called back a few moments later as Neji appeared in the doorway of a nearby room. "Hanabi-san and Hiashi-sama are out right now."
"Oh. That's fine. I just wanted to get cleaned up," she replied, her finger entwining itself in her long hair. "I didn't know if anyone was here. Where were you anyways?"
"I was outside," Neji answered simply. "It was nothing important," he added quickly before she could say anything else.
"Alright then." She turned slightly and looked down the hall . "I guess I'll go clean up and go out again, okay? Ja ne." She waved and started down toward her room.
"I'll probably be outside, depending on when you get back," Neji called, and watched his cousin nod in response before he disappeared to where he had come from.
It only took Hinata a few minutes to get ready to go out again, and when she finished, she started her search for her loud blond friend. She started with the obvious place - the Ichiraku Noodle Bar. She was surprised when she didn't find the male there, she could always find him there. Before she left the establishment, she asked the owner if he'd seen Naruto at all. She was even more surprised when the reply was a no. Thanking him, Hinata started for the Hokage Tower. She planned on asking Tsunade about it. Sadly, the results were the same. It seemed as if the blond had fallen off the face of the earth. Hinata finally set her sights on the training area, it was her last resort. And it seemed that fortune had finally smiled upon her when she stepped into the training area. Naruto was there.
"Oi! Naruto-kun!" she called, waving an arm in the air. "I've been looking for you!"
"Hm?" Naruto looked behind him and noticed the Hyuuga heiress. "Oh, Hinata-chan!" He smiled and started toward her.
"I was starting to think you disappeared," she commented. "I thought you'd be at the Ichiraku, but no one has seen you there… all day…"
"Oh yeah… I just thought I would train a little," he replied. "So how are you?"
"I'm fine. I just wanted to see you." Hinata clasped her hands behind her back as she talked. "I wanted to make sure you knew I wasn't mad at you."
"But if you're done, we should go get some ramen. I think you might scare people if you go a whole day without any."
"Hai, let's go," he nodded, a small chuckle escaping his mouth. Hinata nodded as well and started back toward the village with him.
The two Leaf ninja ordered their noodles when they arrived at the Ichiraku and began eating as soon as the bowls were placed in front of them. Their conversation was light. They touched a little on their normal lives and the mission that happened a week or so back. Naruto expressed his surprise at the Kazekage coming to help them, he never thought about that option. And of course he apologized for being a jerk to her, which she quickly accepted after being unsuccessful at convincing him it was unnecessary. Then the two started to talk about some of the key people in the mission, mainly Gaara and Sasuke. They both were unsure where the Kazekage was, and assumed he had went back to his village. Then a surprise came.
"So, what has Uchiha-san been doing since all this happened?" Hinata asked softly. "Tsunade-sama wouldn't have let him off so easily."
"You don't know?" Naruto questioned in an excited manner. "I can't believe that…"
"What are you talking about?" The indigo haired girl looked at her friend in confusion.
"Neji hasn't told you?"
"Nani? Iie. I haven't spent much time at home."
"Ah. Well," Naruto paused, a smirk appearing on his face. "Teme has to have a babysitter for awhile, a fellow shinobi. It just so happens that your cousin ended up with the job."
"NANI?" Hinata squeaked in a startled voice. "I haven't seen him at the compound at all!"
"Hm. You did just say you don't spend time at home much."
"Hai. But I just talked to Neji-niisan before coming to find you."
"Huh?" Naruto thought about any logical answers. "Maybe he was keeping it a secret to… protect you?"
"Protect me?" Hinata's mouth curved into a small frown. "I don't know why that would be… But maybe."
"Well, don't worry about it." Naruto said, giving her a reassuring pat on the back.
"Right," she nodded. "How about we go to the compound. I'm sure you want to see your friend again." She smirked.
"Okay!" Naruto smiled and inhaled the rest of his seventh bowl of ramen.
"And maybe I should bring back some lunch for everyone. You can't be full yet, and if I remember correctly Uchiha-san is strong and could possibly give Niisan a hard time."
"Sounds like a plan. I'll help you," Naruto said.
The two carefully gather a several covered bowls of ramen in bags to take back to the Hyuuga Compound. Placing the money for all the food on the counter, they started down the road. Naruto was abuzz with excitement, which kept Hinata in a constant state of giggling. And that in turn made Naruto laugh and get even more excited. Hinata had to keep a handle on the blond to keep him from running or bouncing around and sloshing the food too much, which was an even harder task now. But the two made it the compound in one piece with the food intact as well. Naruto held the door open for the young heiress and after they slipped off their shoes, closed the door and headed for the kitchen.
"Niisan!" Hinata called. "Tadaime!" She walked over to the dining table and carefully took out what bowls she had out of the bag. "Neji-niisan!"
"I'm here Hinata-chan," Neji said, stepping into the kitchen from the outside door.
"We brought home food," Hinata said, smiling.
"We?" Neji questioned, finally taking a second to become more aware of his surrounding and finally noticing Naruto. "Oh Uzumaki."
"So where is he?" Naruto jeered happily.
"Hm?" Neji quirked an eyebrow, trying to play a fool.
"I know he's here. Hinata-chan knows he's here."
"You should really keep your mouth shut Uzumaki," Neji muttered, glaring at the blond. He sighed and stepped back outside. "Oi. You want to come in?" he called out.
"Hn." Sasuke just looked at him and reluctantly trudged over to the door. He followed Neji inside.
"Teme!" Naruto greeted, his cattish grin covering his face.
"Dobe." Sasuke growled slightly, looking around the room slowly. The aroma from the ramen had taken over his senses and drawn all of his attention after a few moments.
"Well, eat up you guys," Hinata chimed, placing four sets of chopsticks down on the table. She sat down next to one side of the table and brought a bowl of ramen in front of her.
The four ate quietly, the boys more than Hinata. She only ate one bowl since she had eaten some with Naruto not too long before. But she remained at the table to be a part of the conversation. Well, what conversation was there. It was mainly Naruto rambling on about one thing or another, with small awkward pauses when he was eating. Not that anyone had expected anything more. Hinata was still pretty quiet herself, and both Neji and Sasuke were as stoic and antisocial as ever. Though Neji and Hinata usually had pretty good conversations amongst themselves, perhaps their dark haired guest kept that from happening. But that shouldn't have mattered anyway since Sasuke was more attentive to his food and the curiosity he found in Hinata than the conversation.
'The girl from before,' He thought silently. 'She was with Gaara. She's friends with Naruto. And she's related to Neji…. Who is she?'
"So… Uchiha-san," Hinata piped up, glancing at the broody male. The fact that he was already gazing at her barely registered in her mind. "I hope this hasn't been too bad for you to stay here. I never would have guessed that Tsunade-sama would choose such an odd…punishment."
"Hm?" Sasuke shook his head. "It's been fine," he responded in a slightly dark tone.
'You could have fooled me,' Neji thought to himself, narrowing his gaze. 'You've been nothing but moody and uncooperative since you had to come here.'
"Niisan, are you alright?" Hinata asked, noticing the change in his mood. "Is something the matter?"
"Iie." Neji shook his head. "This was unavoidable I suppose."
"Anou… If you say so."
"Aww. Are you still upset that Hinata-chan found out about your little guest here Neji?" Naruto jeered. "I'm surprised she hasn't decked you for not telling her."
"Uzumaki, like I said before, you should really keep your mouth shut." Neji glared at the kitsune.
"Calm down Neji-niisan. I don't mind it, though it was a little odd." Hinata's voice dropped off a bit at the end, and the corners of her lips turned down into a frown.
"So why didn't you tell her Neji?" Naruto grinned in anticipation for his reply.
"There was no reason for it," the Hyuuga replied. "She didn't need to know."
"Or at least that's what you felt, neh?"
"Just drop it Uzumaki," Neji growled. That only served to coax a bigger smile onto his face.
"Oh come o-"
"Naruto-kun, just stop." Hinata placed her hand on Naruto's arm and gave him a pleading yet stern look. "It's fine. I don't care about it. Let's just finish up here…"
"Eh heh heh. Gomen ne." Naruto blushed slightly, and she removed her grip after a few minutes.
"Arigatou," Hinata mumbled softly followed quickly by a soft sigh. She began to twirl bits of hair around her fingers. She had noticed the strange mood that had surfaced almost immediately after she spoke to Sasuke, and she felt uneasy, something she usually only felt around her father.
'Hm… Interesting.' Sasuke carefully switched his gaze between Neji and Hinata. Observing them in the lingering silence a few moments before returning to his meal.
Eh heh heh… My bad. I haven't updated this in almost a year. Sorry. Don't hurt me! I had finally updated my first one a couple months ago and I started a third one (non-Naruto) a month or so after that. Three will probably stretch me pretty thin. Not to mention school. Yuck. In retrospect I probably could have gotten more done if I would've started right at the beginning of this vacation. Too bad I wasn't thinking smart then. Ooo. And forgive me for throwing random bits of Japanese into the mix of my writing. It's probably crude at best, but I think it kind of helps. (Plus makes my geekish side feel special.) And if you don't understand something or I'm am using something incorrectly feel free to ask/tell me. Nicely though! Thank you!
Anyways, I really hope you like this chapter. It doesn't really go too much into what I wanted/hinted at with the title. But it's better than before I added more. I do have a beginning of chapter three going so that maybe up faster. Yay! And I've been in a very Naruto mood lately so that should help as well. Hopefully this will all get more action-y, but I'm thinking it's going to be subtle romance stuff for a little bit. But keep a look out for chapter updates!
Again, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and continue to read future ones. Please review! Thanks a bunch!
-Ice Demon Meru
Next Chapter: Chapter Three: Another Surprise?