Miss Popular
By Night Beauty

Chapter 14: Red

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

"I uh, umm," Hinata stumbled, blushing at the scene.

She stood at the doorway, her milky eyes gaping at her roommate with her cousin on top of her. Their faces were close. Was that a blush on Tenten's face? Wait, was Neji turning into a tomato?

"S-Sorry!" Hinata bowed, quickly shut the door and bolted. Her face was flushed. Her heart was pumping faster than normal. If this is how I feel just seeing it, what'll happen when I'm actually in that position? Not that I'll ever—She snapped out of her thoughts and suddenly took note of a figure turning the corner.

It was too late. Collision was imminent.

She ran smack into that figure, and with her speed and their position taken off guard, she landed right on top.


Hinata felt herself land on someone soft, warm. He smelled like… cigarettes?

"Oi… this is troublesome," the familiar voice sighed.

"S-Sorry, Shikamaru!" Hinata sat up, not noticing the awkward position of her straddling his waist. "I, uh, your head! Is it okay?" she was starting to sweat. "I'm so sorry! Sorry!"

"It's fine…" Shikamaru sighed, sitting up on his elbows. "How about you?"

She must not have thought about it in the flurry of everything, because her nose began to hurt. "Ehh, my nose hurts a little," she blushed, placing a hand over her nose. She felt a little light-headed.

"My… my youthful eyes!" someone shouted.

Big milky eyes and lazy chocolate ones turned to look at no one other than the youthful Rock Lee—whose eyes were slammed shut—along with his roommate, Gaara and his sister. Gaara's eyes flickered with envy for a moment, before returning to his cool self. Temari blushed at the sight, before shaking her head, speechless.

Hinata and Shikamaru's eyes turned to each other, finally realizing the position they were in (or maybe Shikamaru wasn't fazed by it?). Hinata turned red and she stumbled off him, landing to his side on her rear, while Shikamaru fought a blush. She winced at the pain. That's gonna leave a bruise…

"Troublesome," Shikamaru muttered as he stood.

Hinata blinked when she saw his hand extend to her. She blushed (again), taking his hand. She winced as she felt a pain go down her leg.

Shikamaru noticed this, but someone else asked the question he was going to before him.

"Are you hurt?" Gaara asked, appearing next to her.

"Please don't worry about—Gaara!" Hinata was suddenly in the arms of the redheaded insomniac, who was holding her bridal style. He headed the direction of the nurse's office without saying a word.

Shikamaru scratched the back of his head with his eyes closed. Temari looked at her brother before glancing over at the lazy genius.

Sasuke left the nurse's office, yawning. That was a good nap. Just as he was about to stretch, he noticed the panda-looking exchange student and his female student representative in his arms. My representative?

"Uchiha," Gaara acknowledged.

"Subaku. Hyuuga." He eyed the heiress, who nodded to him.

Sasuke glared at the two before walking past them in silence.

Hinata didn't realize she was holding her breath, for she suddenly let out a sigh of relief. "Gaara, I can walk."

He ignored her and walked in, glancing at the student nurse before placing her on the farthest bed, next to the window.

The female Hyuuga finally got to take a good look at her ankle. Probably sprained, she thought. It wasn't hurting as much as earlier either.

"How may I assist--" the nurse started, but stopped when Gaara sent a glare.

"She just needed a place to rest for a bit. Don't you have… something else to do?"

"G-Gaara!" Hinata scolded. "I'm sorry, ma'am," she bowed.

"It's fine, I'll leave you two alone then…" she said, going into the other room.

"I don't think that was necessary," the heiress said.



Hinata started poking her fingers. Ah! I have to stop, what a bad habit.

"Are you scared of me?"


"Last week at the mall… I… he showed up, didn't he? My secret."

Her silence was affirmation.

"I'm sorry you had to deal with him," Gaara said, looking away.

She blinked before smiling. "There's no need to apologize, Gaara. I'm not scared of you at all!"

"Really?" he leaned in closer to her, arms trapping her body against the bed she sat on. He noticed her tense a little.

"Yes," she said, a little hesitantly. She gulped, before staring straight into his gorgeous sea-colored eyes. His scent was enveloping her, and it was surprisingly nice, like a cool breeze on a beach mixed with musk.

He leaned in a little closer, enough so that she could feel his warm breath trickle down her lips and down her neck. Her heart was racing.

"P-please stop, Gaara," she stated firmly.

He didn't move from his spot, there noses almost touching. "I thought you weren't scared."

"I'm not," she defended, looking at his lips inch a little closer.

His hand held her chin gently. "Will you let me continue? Or did he take your first kiss?"

Shikamaru? Hinata blushed for what was probably the hundredth time today. "I—I'm not inclined to answer that question!" Is it obvious I haven't been kissed before?

"W-What's going on?!"

Gaara and Hinata both looked to the door, which revealed Kiba and Shino. Even with sunglasses on, one could tell Shino was glaring.

The redhead smirked and moved away. "I was taking care of her."

"Up-close and personal?" Kiba said, gritting his teeth. "What'd you do to her?!"

Hinata found the past couple of days to grow closer to Kiba and Shino, and they were her partners in one of her classes. Kiba tended to be overly protective of her, like a brother. Shino was the same, but he was a little subtler in his actions.

"It was my fault," Hinata spoke up, throwing her legs to the side of the bed so that the dangled above the floor. "I tripped," on Shikamaru "and sprained it a little, but I think I can walk now," and probably could have earlier, if Gaara let me down.

"Hinata, you don't have to lie to protect him," Shina offered, as if he could tell she was sparing some details. He was good like that.

"No, it's perfectly fine," Hinata smiled, slowly standing on her feet. "Look, I'm good, see?" She paused, noticing a swollen bump on Kiba's arm. "Kiba, are you okay?"

"Oh, this bastard here sicced some of his insects on me."

"I did no such thing, you riled them. I told you to stay calm."

"My ass--"

"You really should watch your language," the student nurse said, entering the room with her arms crossed.

"Konan-sempai," Shino acknowledged while Kiba muttered.

"What trouble did you get into this time?" she smirked at Kiba, She didn't wait for an answer, as she was already going through the cabinet and looking for the correct ointment.

"Um, sorry about earlier. My name is Hinata," the said girl bowed and introduced herself. "Sorry if I interrupted your work." She had moved from the bed next to Kiba and Shino, in front of Konan.

"It's fine," the blue head senior replied, glancing over her shoulder. "I'm sorry, but if there's no more problems, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

Hinata bowed again, turning red from embarrassment as she quickly stepped out of the clinic with Gaara following behind her, silent.

"You didn't have to walk me," Hinata said as she and the redhead stood outside her door. She put her key into the slot, staring at it. "My leg's fine, really."

He smirked. "You're interesting."

"What…?" Hinata looked up to see the boy already walking away from her. Without looking back, he lifted an arm as a wave.

Gaara's strange… she sighed, unlocking the door. She was welcome by a pair of arms glomping her.

"Hinata-chan!" Tenten cried.

"Tenten, is everything okay?" the heiress asked. She looked at the room. "Where's Neji?"

"I'm so sorry I didn't tell you before! He said not to," the brunette rambled. "Are you mad at me?"

"Tell me about what?"

"That Neji and I are… are…" the girl released her grip and looked at her with tears in her eyes. "Official."

Tenten missed the gleam in Hinata's eyes. "Really? Since when?"

"A few days ago…" the half-Chinese girl said.

Hinata smiled. "That's great!"

The brunette blinked. "I-It is?"

"I'm happy for the both of you," she smiled.

Her roommate looked like she was about to cry, until she surprisingly embraced her and tackled her to the ground. "Please don't tell anyone."

Hinata stared at the ceiling. When she placed a hand on her back, she found Tenten was shaking. "Hmm?"

"He said not to tell anyone," she said softly. "I got mad at him, and he tackled me to calm me down earlier. That's when you—you know. Misunderstood." She took in a deep breath. "I don't know why he wants to keep it a secret. He… He told me to trust him. So I am. Do you think I'm stupid?"

"You can trust Neji," Hinata said firmly. "I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. If you're with him you're happy right? So that's all that matters."

Tenten nodded. "Yeah, you're right."

Naruto and Lee had been headed towards Sakura and Ino's room, but were stopped by the sight of Tenten on top of Hinata. On the floor. Hugging.

The blonde stuttered, "N-Nosebleed..."

"Hinata-chan! I didn't know you were… so… youthful in your ways! And Tenten… I didn't know you were that way either…?"

Tenten's eye twitched, jumping off Hinata gracefully. "You guys…"

"Don't worry Tenten, your secret's fine with me," Lee said proudly.

"There is no secret, stupid!" the girl shouted, running after Lee.

Hinata finally stood, sweatdropping at the sight. "Naruto… sorry for the misunderstanding. Do you need a tissue?"

"Oh, I'm good, thanks!" the sunny blonde grinned with his hand still on his nose. "I think it stopped. So what was that?"

He's so straight-forward. Hinata couldn't help but smile at his curiosity. "It's nothing, Naruto. Tenten was a little frantic and I was calming her down."

"Oh, okay… Must be a girl thing. I wonder if Sakura and Ino do that…" Naruto blinked, suddenly going into a slight daydream. Was that blood starting to drip down his nose again? "I gotta go, see ya!" he held a hand over his nose again as he ran off waving.

Hinata waved silently before going back into her room. When the door closed, she leaned against it and sighed. What a day.

She walked towards the bathroom, finding her suitemates' door slightly ajar. She turned on the sink and splashed some water on her face. When she was done, she suddenly saw in the large mirror a reflection of Temari next to her. She almost screamed. "T-Temari!"

"Hey," the girl said. She bit the inside of her lip, as if wanting to say more.

"Is something wrong?" Hinata asked as she returned the towel to the rack.

"Look, I'm just going to ask," Temari said with her arms crossed. She responded to Hinata's confused look with a question. "What are Shikamaru and Gaara to you?"


"What are Shikamaru and Gaara to you, Hinata-chan?"

To Be Continued…