Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto and not me.
A/N: It's starting to get interesting…?
Chapter 2: Hiding Behind a Cloud
Hinata gulped. There had been a talent scout at the club night before, and now he was searching for her? He wanted her to be the next big thing?
So the people at the club hadn't been screaming for her blood last night? They had been cheering for her?
Hinata felt a headache coming on. There were too many questions!
"Whoa, this is for real, right?" asked Kiba, still staring at the poster before them. Hinata's henge from the night before was on it, the microphone just falling from her grip and blue eyes full of worry and shock.
"What are you going to do, Hinata?" Shino glanced across at the girl.
Hinata tapped her fingers together. "Um… I don't think we should do anything," she whispered.
The boy nodded. "That is a wise decision."
"Wise? Do nothing?" exclaimed Kiba. He pointed at the poster. "There's some guy who wants to make Hinata rich and famous! All she has to do is sing and she'll be set for life. She could even retire by this time next year; you know how much singing idols make! And then there's the movie offers, promotion contracts, touring around the world!"
"Kiba-kun, please don't yell," Hinata begged him. She looked up and down the street, but luckily the crowds that had been hanging around the other posters had faded away. "I don't want to do this. Tsunade-sama had told us to be discreet, and if my father found out, he'd be unhappy with me. My duty as a ninja is more important."
Kiba crossed his arms. "Fine, fine… but still I think you should do it." Akamaru gave a bark. "And so does Akamaru."
"The attention shall fade in a few days probably," said Shino, reassuring Hinata's still worried expression. "It is only hype. The media will forget about it soon enough."
Hinata nodded. What he said made sense. The posters would probably be gone in a few days and the young woman called 'Hinaru' would probably disappear from memory along with them.
A week later…
The posters were gone. At least, all the ones that had been hung in places not owned by anyone… They'd been stolen like they were collectables. Shopkeepers furiously guarded the posters in their windows, shooing off anyone suspiciously loitering around them. For one solid week the talk had been about the young woman on the posters and the search, which was still continuing. A hotline had been set up for people to call into, and they'd had no shortage of calls from people claiming they'd seen 'Miss Hinaru the Famous Idol'. However, no real results had been found. It was like she had disappeared from existence.
But, just when Hinata thought things couldn't get worse, they did.
Hinata stared wide-eyed at the row of televisions in the storefront. Every screen was set to the same thing – a video of a nightclub where a young woman was singing. The glass of the shop vibrated from how loud the sets had been turned up to. The woman's voice rang clear out through the street. People were crowded around the shopfront, watching… staring… mesmerised.
"It's the most beautiful thing I've ever heard!" said someone.
"Shhhh!!" replied the crowd. They gave a moan of disappointment when the video finally ended.
"This video of Miss Hinaru was released only minutes ago," announced a voice over on the television. "The footage had been taken via security cameras from within the club; however the tape had been stolen from the premises shortly after the performance. Investigators were able to track the thief down and secure the tape though. Meibun Talent Agency hopes that this footage will help the efforts of the search, and urge the public more than ever to keep an eye out for the mysterious singer. Again, that number for those with information is…"
Hinata fled down the street. Now there was video of her?
The girl turned as she heard claws scraping against the ground coming up behind her. Before she could blink, she felt herself grabbed by the arm and hurled up into the air.
"Kiba-kun!" She desperately clung onto the boy's hand until he swung her around to land on Akamaru's back. The dog panted heavily as he ran through the street, almost deserted from people racing inside to watch the television. "Kiba-kun, what are you doing?" she asked, eyes wide and hands clutching to the back of his jacket.
"We need to talk!" replied Kiba. "Let's go, Akamaru!"
The dog gave a bark and leapt into the air so he could race across rooftops. Hinata continued to hold tightly onto Kiba, feeling almost ill, but not from the ride. The feeling in her stomach knew exactly what Kiba was going to say.
"You have to go back to the club!" he said.
Hinata chewed on her bottom lip, trying not to look her team mate in the eye. "Kiba-kun… why do you care if I do this or not?"
Kiba paused, a strange change from his usual self. He crossed his arms and leant against a tree. "I dunno, okay? I just think you should."
"I… want to," replied Hinata quietly. "I like to sing. But I can't do it this way. It's not right when I have duties to Konoha."
Kiba sighed to himself and pushed off of the tree. He leapt back on Akamaru's back. "Remember what I said? About how we could get some easy missions for a while and we could do them while you go sing?"
Hinata nodded, remembering the offer.
"If you want, it's still there," he said. There was a moment of silence as they thought. "You want a ride back into town?" he asked.
"No, I'll walk back, but thank you." Hinata clasped her hands together as the two left. She sat down by a tree, looking up at the sun through the gaps of the branches.
I could be famous, she thought. She shook her head after a second. No, it wouldn't be me who'd be famous. It'd be 'Hinaru'… But then, nobody would know it's me so I could both be a singer and a ninja. But what if somebody found out?
Her shoulders drooped. There were so many questions. She wanted to know what fame was like, but at the same time she was worried about being found out.
If she took up this alter-ego, she would be able to feel like she had some freedom from being a ninja. It'd be a completely different world from the one she was currently in. She wanted a break – a new adventure where she could live in someone else's shoes for a while and not have to worry about her father breathing down her neck, or Hanabi gloating about how good she was compared to her.
Hinata started singing – the same song she had sung at the club. She imagined for a moment she really was famous. For some reason, she felt like she suddenly had some confidence. All those people staring at her and not knowing it was her. Idols were always confident on stage. They never faltered and the crowd cheered their name. She could almost hear them…
"Miss Hinaru! Miss Hinaru! Oh, it's just you, Hinata."
Hinata's eyes snapped open and her voice faltered. In the instant that followed, she almost wished she hadn't. "Na-Na-Naruto-kun?" she exclaimed. The blond-haired boy walking towards her, looking disappointed. "Wha-what are you doing here?" she asked. She felt her face growing warm, knowing she must have looked like a tomato to him.
Naruto pouted. "I thought I heard Miss Hinaru singing. But when I came to investigate, I found you."
Does he know? Did he figure it out? Of course he must have! I'm the only one here! Hinata was trying her best not to do any of her usual habits. She winced as her nails dug into her legs from clutching so hard. She stared up at Naruto, waiting for him to say something about her.
"You… That singing…" Naruto leaned in towards Hinata. The girl took a sharp breath. "You haven't seen Miss Hinaru around, have you, Hinata?"
Hinata's lower eyelid twitched. In that split second her willpower had finally given out.
"Hinata? Are you okay?" Naruto raised an eyebrow at her. "Darn, she's fainted again. She must really have low blood sugar." He let out a sigh. "And I really wanted to be the one to find Miss Hinaru too!"
Something cold kept touching Hinata's face. She gave a grunt, hating the feeling, and opened her eyes.
"Oh, you're awake, Hinata!"
Hinata blinked her eyes blearily. It felt like she'd just woken from a bizarre dream. A pink-haired girl leaned over her, taking a damp cloth off her forehead. "Sakura-chan?"
The girl raised an eyebrow at her. "Are you feeling better?"
"Um… Kind of… what happened?" Hinata hoped it was a dream… really she did.
Sakura sighed. "You fainted and Naruto brought you to me. He thinks you have low blood sugar." Again she raised an eyebrow at the dark-haired girl. "But that's not true, is it?"
Hinata's gaze swept around the room – a medical office. But as hard as Hinata tried to avoid the question, she could still feel Sakura's stare upon her. She needed a distraction, and fast!
"Hinata! Great, you're up!" The door burst open. In a whirlwind of orange and black, Hinata was swept up and out of the room.
Sakura blinked. What had just happened?
Don't faint, don't faint, don't faint! Hinata told herself as she was dragged down the stairway, her hand firmly clutched by Naruto. "Na-Naruto-kun, what are you doing?"
The blond paused on the stairs, turning to grin at her. "We're going to go find Miss Hinaru, of course!"
"B-but why?" stuttered Hinata.
"You're good at scouting, aren't you?" asked Naruto in return. Hinata managed to give a tiny nod. "I need your help to find her, and two people have more chance than one."
Hinata's brows knit in confusion. "No Naruto-kun, I-I mean why are finding Miss Hinaru?"
Naruto gave a narrow-eyed stare at her, head tilted as he thought to himself. He finally gave a smile. "I think she's really awesome."
"Really… awesome?" Hinata's look of confusion only deepened.
"Yeah," nodded Naruto. He began to pull Hinata down the stairs again. "I wish I could find her so then I could talk to her. I don't know what it is, but there's something familiar about her. And I really like her."
"Did… have you heard her sing?" asked Hinata softly.
"It's all over the village," reported the blond. "Everyone thinks she has the best voice."
"And… do you think she does too, Naruto-kun?"
Naruto glanced back up at her curiously. "Yeah, of course! It's perfect! What about you?"
"Um…" Hinata trailed off. It was her own voice… even if all these people said her voice was good, she still felt guilty if she boasted about it that way.
Luckily, Naruto seemed distracted as they walked out into the street, lined with more posters than ever, and just as many people stealing them. It was almost chaotic. Naruto let go of Hinata's hand, putting a finger to his lips. In a flash of speed and a tub of glue spilling onto a man up a ladder, the poster in his hands disappeared. Naruto appeared back before Hinata, waving the rolled up poster in her face and grinning widely.
"Don't tell anyone, but I'm collecting as many as I can," he whispered, still grinning cheekily. "Miss Hinaru's gonna be a big star, and I want to be her number one fan."
"Num-number one fan?" Hinata stared at the boy, feeling as though all the blood in her body had suddenly gone to her face.
"Yeah, yeah! So let's go find her!" Naruto grabbed her hand again.
"Naruto-kun! I can't!" exclaimed the girl. She managed to pull her hand free, a task which had been hard to do. His hand had been so warm… She shook her head. "Naruto-kun, I can't. I… I have something important I need to do." She felt positively horrible when the boy gave him a look of heartbroken disappointment. Hinata quickly stuttered out an apology and ran for it, not wanting to see the expression on his face any longer.
Barks sounded from within and around the house as Hinata knocked frantically on the front door. A young woman answered, Kiba's sister.
"You look like you've been to Suna and back, Hinata-chan," commented Hana. She shrugged and turned. "Hey Kiba! Hinata-chan is here to see you!"
Her brother looked out from the living room before coming to the door. Hana ruffled his hair on the way back towards the kitchen.
"What's up, Hinata?" asked Kiba.
Hinata was panting heavily. "That… that offer… can… I still… can I still take it up?"
A grin spread over Kiba's face. "I was wondering how long it'd take you to give in."
A/N: There we go then. I hope you're all enjoying this so far, especially you, Clark. XD