AN: I'm surprised at the kind reaction people have had to this fic! I've been dying to write a Naru/Hina kiss so it was a great excuse! Tee hee Enjoy everyone!

Disclaimer: Own nothing

In the Rain- II

Hinata could hear Naruto running down the hall long before she saw him.

During the last week she'd spent in the hospital, Naruto had visited her everyday and she was now able to distinguish his footsteps from all the others that echoed down the white halls. His were quite loud and unabashed, unlike the others which were careful and clipped and she could always hear the nurse's futile shouts for him to stop running. She could tell it was Naruto because he never seemed to walk to her room, but would rather sprint as though it were imperative that he reach her as soon as possible.

The door to her room practically flew back on its hinges as Naruto explosively entered the room, a wide smile on his face and a plastic bag hanging from his hand.

"Hinata! I brought you ramen!" he shouted proudly as he set the bag down on the table beside her bed. "It's mild seafood like you like it."

Hinata giggled softly and moved to sit up. "Thank you, Naruto-kun."

Noticing her struggle, Naruto quickly leaned forward and slipped a strong arm under her to hoist her into a sitting position. He grabbed a pillow with his free hand and settled it behind her back and gently let her lean against it. Hinata felt her face heat up at his touch and she glanced helplessly around, stammering a thank you.

Naruto grinned at her telltale blush and began unpacking the bowls of ramen. He loved that blush of hers. He snapped a pair of wooden chopsticks apart and handed them to her along with the steaming bowl. "I heard from Sakura-chan that you could go home tomorrow so I figured we could celebrate with ramen. Besides hospital food sucks and I bet you're sick of it."

Hinata graciously took the bowl from his hands and poked nervously at the noodles with her chopsticks. "Well, um, I was supposed to go home…but it seems I'll be here for a while longer."

Naruto glanced up at her from his bowl in surprise. Swallowing forcefully, he exclaimed, "Why? I thought you were almost better now!"

Hinata nodded and bit her lip. "I am…but my father requested I stay here for a while longer. He…he doesn't think I'm fit to return home yet and well…" She trailed off, listlessly swirling the noodles around before taking a halfhearted bite.

Naruto stared at her face for a while, wondering why her father would want her to stay here if she were getting better, but judging from her sullen expression he decided it was best not to ask here. His brow furrowed in sudden determination and Hinata started in surprise when he tilted his head back, inhaling the remains of his ramen before slamming the bowl down on the table. Grinning mischievously, Naruto bent forward and took her hand.

Glancing nervously down at his hand and up to his face, Hinata stammered, "Na-Naruto-kun?"

His grin widened and he tilted his head toward the open window. "You want to get out of here?"

"Wh-What?" Hinata squeaked, eyes widening. "But-but we can't do that!"

Naruto shook her hand slightly and winked. "I could carry you out and nobody would know!" He sat back slightly, looking at her with an expression of mock boredom. "Unless you'd rather stay here for another few weeks and eat food that tastes like Styrofoam."

Hinata's gaze flickered from the door to the window to Naruto to the window. Every rational part of her body was telling it was absurd to run away from the hospital, especially when her father had commanded she stay here. But having Naruto there holding her hand and grinning that way made it rather difficult to think rationally. Finally, she swallowed thickly and nodded.

"I-I want to leave…with you."

Naruto pumped a fist in the air excitedly. "Yes!" He quickly turned around and knelt down so that his broad back was offered to Hinata. Glancing over a shoulder he motioned to her. "Quick, get on and I'll get us out of here."

Hinata's face turned frighteningly red at the though of riding on Naruto's back and she almost decided this was a bad idea. Glancing nervously at the door one last time, Hinata forced herself to breathe and swung her legs over the edge of her bed. Swallowing uneasily, she slid her arms around his neck and leaned against his strong back as her blush deepened. A small gasp burst forth when Naruto placed his hands on her thighs just behind her knees and gripped them gently before standing up suddenly. As though her weight didn't impede him in the least, Naruto shifted her into a more comfortable position and crossed the room in a few long strides. Before Hinata could protest, Naruto leapt out of the window with Hinata clinging frightfully to him, her head buried in his shoulder.

Naruto laughed happily as the air whistled past them and smiled at the way Hinata's breath warmed his skin. Hinata's long hair whipped around her face as she peeked bravely over Naruto's shoulder. The air rushed past them and colors blurred around them as they descended toward a nearby rooftop. The sky seemed to part for them and the people below seemed so far away.

Hinata could have sworn they were flying.

-------------------

As Naruto dashed away from the hospital with Hinata on his back, the sky darkened and soon, heavy raindrops began falling. Somehow, as they sought out shelter, they found themselves underneath the same tree they'd stood under the night he found her on the river. Both breathless and laughing, they sat side by side against the sturdy trunk.

Naruto shook the rain out of his messy hair and grinned at Hinata. "That was great, Hinata. Felt like when I used to skip classes when we were in the Academy."

Hinata smiled happily and put a hand on her chest. "That…that was the first time I did something like that. My heart was racing the entire time."

Naruto linked his hands behind his head and smiled affectionately at the young Hyuuga. Hinata blushed slightly under his gaze, but smiled back.

"Don't worry about your dad and hospital too much, Hinata. I'm sure Sakura-chan will think of something. She wouldn't make you stay any longer than you have to."

At the mention of her father, Hinata felt her smile slip a little and by the time she recovered, Naruto had already noticed. "Ah…well"

Naruto frowned at her change in mood and put a steady hand on her shoulder. "What is it?"

Hinata raised a curled hand to her mouth in uncertainty and bit the corner of her lip. Naruto squeezed her shoulder encouragingly and Hinata glanced hesitantly at him. She had never spoken of these fears to anyone, and she felt like some sort of traitor for voicing them.

"M-My father didn't say it, but I know that he's upset about what happened during my first A mission…"

Naruto nodded and offered, "Well, of course, any father would be-"

"No!" Hinata exclaimed, interrupting Naruto. "He wasn't upset I got hurt, he was more embarrassed that I failed so horribly!"

Hinata felt tears stinging at her eyes and she swallowed painfully. Naruto stared at Hinata with an expression of shock at her outburst as her words slowly processed.

"M-My father cares for me I know…but he is ashamed that I am the heir of the Hyuuga name," Hinata continued, barely aware of Naruto. "I've trained so hard to become strong enough to support my name…but he still isn't proud."

Naruto's fist clenched at the pain in Hinata's voice. "Hinata, but that-"

As if the words were demanding to be said and refused to be dormant any longer, Hinata rushed on. "I don't have the personality to be the leader of my house! I'm too timid and indecisive for such a role and I can't change that! I was of no help to my teammates and only became a weight for them to carry! How am I going to guide and lead an entire clan if I can barely make it through a mission alive?"

Naruto grabbed both of her slim shoulders and forced her to look at him. "That's not true, Hinata! No matter what your father thinks you're going to be a great leader! You're kind and fair and you're strong!"

"Naruto-kun, you don't understand! I've always admired you because even when you were young and not as skilled as you are now, you were always so confidant and believed in yourself! But I'm not like that and no matter how hard I try I'm terrified I won't be able to change…" Hinata's voice faded into a choked whisper and she found herself unable to look Naruto in the eye.

Naruto couldn't tell if the feeling burning in his chest was anger or pain or helplessness. Everybody had their demons, he knew that painfully well, but he hadn't expected his sweet Hinata to harbor such atrocious insecurities.

"Hinata, listen to me! Don't you dare think that crap about yourself! You're one of the strongest and most determined shinobi I've ever met and you need to believe that!"

Hinata shook her head violently. "No, I'm-"

Whatever argument had been rising in her throat died the instant that Naruto pressed his lips against hers. Hinata's heart went still and it seemed impossible that the rain was still falling and the world still turning. Her eyes were wide with sheer shock and all coherent thoughts fled her head at the gentle way Naruto captured her mouth. It wasn't possible that the man she'd admired and loved from a distance for so many years was kissing her. Suddenly, Naruto's eyes shot open and he jerked back, a blush rising over his face and the world seemed to move again.

As Hinata shakily raised a few fingers to touch her lips in a daze, Naruto waved his hands and stuttered, "I-I don't know what came over me, Hinata! I'm sorry!"

Hinata barely heard a word as Naruto continued to apologize.

He kissed me…Naruto-kun kissed me.

Naruto realized she wasn't listening when he saw the dazed look in her eyes and how dangerously red her face had become. He worried that she had forgotten to breathe and touched her shoulder uncertainly.

"Hinata?"

Hinata stare fell suddenly to Naruto as if just realizing he was still there. Her fingers were still touching her newly kissed lips and her blush still present. As though she was trying to speak, her mouth opened and closed, but made no sounds or words. Naruto couldn't tell if the expression on her face was one of horror or shock and immediately lamented being so forward with her.

"My…my first kiss…" Hinata breathed.

Naruto swallowed in shame at having stolen her first kiss and attempted to make her feel better."I'm so sorry, Hinata. I just…I don't know why I did that without your permission. If it makes you feel any better, my first kiss was with that teme Sasuke and that's pretty disgusting no matter how you-"

"Naruto-kun?"

Hinata's soft voice stopped Naruto's rant and he looked to her wide-eyed face.

"Can…can you kiss me again?"

They were undoubtedly the boldest words that ever passed her lips and both Naruto and Hinata were shocked silent. Neither breathed for a few impossible moments and Naruto's wide blue eyes searched Hinata's face while Hinata forced herself to not look away. Hinata wasn't sure what changed - perhaps the rain thickened or the leaves rustled or a lock of her hair fell into her face- but suddenly the stillness made way as Naruto closed the distance, obliging with Hinata's request.

Hinata was stock still as Naruto took her lips with his and gently began moving against her. It was a gentle and lingering kiss, almost innocent. He breathed lightly against her, and Hinata let her eyes flutter close. A strong hand reached out to tangle itself in her dark hair and to pull her closer as she finally gathered enough courage to respond to Naruto's encouraging mouth. Naruto smiled against her lips when she finally began kissing back and gave her a small peck on the corner of her mouth before moving back.

Naruto chuckled a little when he saw that Hinata still had her eyes closed and tapped her cheek lightly, urging her to look at him. They opened slowly, her cheeks flushed and lips reddened from their kiss. Her small hand was fisted around the front of his shirt and she stared at Naruto with a look in her pale eyes that let him know that there was nothing on her mind but him.

Hinata bit her lip and leaned forward to rest her forehead on Naruto's shoulder, clenching her fist around his shirt. His hand was still on the back of her head and he stroked her hair affectionately, allowing her to rest against him. She didn't know what it was about him or how he made her body tingle when he was near, but when he told her she was beautiful, she could believe him and he made her believe she could be more than she was.

"You're beautiful, Hinata," Naruto said firmly. "You're a kind person and a strong shinobi and I know you're going to be a kick-ass leader."

Somehow, because it was her Naruto-kun who told her these things, they were suddenly easy to believe. Somehow, Naruto wanted nothing more than for her to believe him. They supposed that's what love is like.

AN: AHHHH HINATA NARUTO KISS! I've wanted to do that for a while I meant to update a few days ago but I was away for a week at a horse show so I wasn't able to. Hope you guys enjoyed. Reviews are loved.