Academy Dance No Jutsu
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the characters.
Summary: Hinata, I hate to have to be the one to tell you this, but your dates are brawling in the street… ShinoKiba and others. Oneshot.
Author's Note: One of my longer pieces. X3 Inspired by something I found on DA ages ago... The image was by mausmouse, if you can find it. I'd reccommend taking a look.
Hyuuga Hinata frowned, hopping restlessly one from foot to the other. Her general persona was perminantly nervous by default, but this time... She didn't have a clue. Her unease had nothing to do with her disposition, this time around.
Shino, she could trust. He was a fairly responsible individual, calm and levelheaded. He had enough sense for a whole clan, never mind one Chuunin. It was her other, scruffier, louder, clumsier teammate that she fretted over. After all, the Inuzuka was still just a pup underneath. Kind of like Naruto had never really grown up.
What can they be doing? Hinata wondered, watching as the other couples walked past, entering through the double doors and into the building. It was a fairly cool evening, as the breeze skipped about her ankles and made her shiver. It had gone dark a while ago, the Academy now alight with various coloured lanterns, swaying in the gentle wind...
She was glad that she had found the old dress of some late great-aunt, stowed away in the attic.
Kiba's alternative suggestion had been embarrassing just to listen to, let alone carry out...
"Never mind Hina-chan, if all else fails-"
"Hinata!" Hinata looked up from the floor to see something very loud and very pink barrelling straight for her. She stopped short, dropping the two paper bags she had been carrying, that week's groceries tumbling out and into the dirt... Haruno Sakura skidded to a halt in front of her, worry plastered over her features. "Jeez, Hina-chan, I'm sorry... Did I startle you?" The fact that she had been a good few metres away from the girl when her grip faltered was overlooked. "Here, let me help."
"Gomen, Sakura-chan... Y-you really don't have to-"
"You got everything wrapped, but you'd better check when you get back that nothing smashed..." Her friend told her, swiftly gathering up the various paper-covered items and putting them back into the bags. She straightened up, handing one bag to Hinata and holding the other herself, gesturing for her to walk alongside her. "You're headed back this way, right? I don't mind lending a hand..." Hinata smiled, managing a half-bow despite having her arms full. Hyuuga formality had been drilled into her from day one.
"Uh, okay... Thank you Sa-" Sakura giggled, cutting her off.
"Don't mention it! Anyway, I have the. Best. News. Ever!" She laughed in that typical teenaged-girl sort of way, half at the prospect of delivering such news and half at Hinata's almost frightened expression. Did she always have to look like a rabbit caught in the headlights? Sakura reached into a pocket with her free hand, fishing out a small, glossy slip of paper... She thrust it under Hinata's nose, the latter going a little cross-eyed as she tried to read it up close...
"That's right!" Sakura sang, doing a happy little skip as they walked. "All former students from our graduate year and the one above are invited, so that means us 'rookies', plus Tenten and the rest of Team Guy of course."
"Lee?" It was amazing how one name could strike fear into even the most positive of moments. Sakura's jaw set immediately, as if she was trying far too hard to hold her smile.
"Yes. Lee." Lee, his eyebrows, green unitard and disgustingly cheerful nature to be exact, probably making another horribly public declaration of undying love in the Springtime of Youth, or something like that anyway...
"Ano... I... I doubt h-he'll be able to make it anyway..." Hinata broke through the slight daze Sakura found herself caught up in, and the pink-haired Kunoichi blinked in surprise...
"Hai... He's still at his post in S-Suna- he's with Kazekage-sama." Ah. Sabaku no Gaara. So that was one problem down, one more to go. And this one was orange, just as loud and three times as tenacious. She would have to bring... A large stick or something. Anything that would keep Naruto at bay for the entire evening. Sakura shook her head quickly, as if she were physically getting rid of the thought.
"Anyway, moving swiftly on..." She waved the paper once more, directing attention back to the immediate issue... "It's this weekend, so we haven't exactly got long to sort ourselves out... Couples only, formal dress- Hina-chan? Are you okay?" Hinata had gone rather pale at the 'couples' part, her shopping very nearly ending up on the floor again.
"Yeah, isn't it the best?" Hinata's pale violet eyes came over with that glazed sort of look, and she bit her lower lip worriedly. Sakura's expression turned suddenly mischievous and she grinned impishly at her friend... "Oh come on, Hinata, it'll be great! Hey... Why don't you ask Naruto?"
And in an instant... Why was everything spinning?
Sakura had to move quickly to catch the girl as she toppled sideways, the bag slipping out of her hands. The contents would definitely be ruined by now. Sakura managed to keep her load upright and grab the Hyuuga by the elbow.
"Hina-chan? Hina-chan! Don't... Please don't faint on me! Hinata, wake up!"
High-level, complicated Jutsu? Enemy nin? Protecting Konoha? Sure, no problem!
Kami-sama... Please let the ground swallow me up...
She couldn't ask him.
Could she? The problem was pretty much obvious. So obvious in fact, it could have been sitting right in front of her, drinking sake and grinning in that 'let's see you get past me' sort of way. It was becoming more and more clear that it's so much easier to talk to someone if you don't keep fainting before you can get your words out...
She didn't stutter in her head. Locked away somewhere was an uber-confident Hyuuga Hinata, one that would have asked the Kyuubi-container to be her 'date' with absolutely no problem at all. Unfortunately, she was just a figment of the imagination. The real Hinata was now lying on the floor; pale eyes closed and cheeks still burning a dull red from her encounter with...
I know that voice... I-
"Hinata, you need to wake up... Jeez... Are you sick?"
Am I... Wuh?
Blue eyes. Staring right into hers. Hinata didn't scream too often, not unless in the face of extreme danger, or in the close proximity of one Uzumaki Naruto. Unfortunately, this was one of those times, as she recognized the orange blur topped by a sunny thatch of hair to be the said dobe...
"Hina-chan! Thank God, I thought I'd lost you for a minute there-"
Whereas the ideal would have regained her footing quickly and simply asked him if he knew about what was going on at the Academy on Saturday, probably in a casual way to see first whether he was already taken and avoid immediate embarrassment...
Both of her teammates heard the yell from the next street along, but it was probably audible all the way over in the Wave Country. Inuzuka Kiba cocked his head slightly, for a moment weighing up the amplitude and the pitch...
"Uzumaki." He said with a slight grin, obviously putting down the urge to burst into raucous laughter.
"You shouldn't make light of your own teammate's predicaments." Shino reprimanded. Kiba shrugged.
"Nah, I just think she's going about it all wrong, that's all." He said, following Shino as the Aburame took off at a run around the corner.
"Don't go giving her your 'sound advice', please..." Shino could already see the pair, Naruto crouched over the inert form of the Hyuuga, still trying to shake some life into her. Kiba was about as romantic as Akamaru; his initial ideas regarding 'how-to-catch-his-bug-boy' hadn't stretched much further than the scars now perminantly etched into Shino's collarbone. "I don't think Naruto would appreciate being bitten."
"Oi, I don't make fun of your clan's traditions, so leave mine alone!" The indignant cry was followed by a sly smirk. "You can't tell me you didn't like it though." The Aburame said nothing. Maybe it was due to the fact that they had reached the source of all the racket, but still a faint blush tinged his complexion, (or what Kiba could see of it). Naruto stood quickly, looking a little red in the face.
"Shino, Kiba, thank God- she just... Went all weird and smacked me in the face- I don't think she meant to, of course, but my eye's probably gonna bruise-"
Why is he moaning? Kiba wondered, frowning. It's alright for him; he can just get the Kyuubi to heal it-
"S-Shino-kun? Kiba-kun?" Hinata awoke to see both of her teammates standing over her. Kiba broke into laughter as she regarded him with that usual, frightened expression and Shino immediately turned to scold him-
"I told you-"
"Oh come on! You gotta admit that was funny!" Shino said nothing, heaving a long sigh instead and bending down to pull Hinata to her feet. Naruto had backed off a little by now, getting out of range should she panic again...
"A-Academy..." Hinata groaned, hanging onto Shino and swaying slightly on the spot. "C-couples, I..."
"Oooookay..." Kiba raised an eyebrow, turning to Shino with a sceptical look on his face. "God, she's delirious-"
"Naruto!" Their heads jerked in the direction of the almost-yell, and Hinata slipped from Shino's grasp. She stood straight, rigid, looking as if she might burst into tears at any moment... Naruto himself froze; looking utterly terrified for a reason no one could quite identify... "Ano... N-Naruto- c-cometotheAcademydanceonSaturdaywith... me...?"
"God- did you see his face? Priceless!"
Shino resisted the urge to smack the Inuzuka upside the head, instead graciously accepting the cup Hinata handed him. The Hyuuga kept her concentration fiercely on the completely undeserving tea she was pouring, despite the fact that it hadn't actually done anything to offend anyone.
Silence. And then...
"At least you did ask him." Kiba added, trying to at least make the girl smile. "Sort of." Hinata didn't look up.
"Kiba-kun, I s-screamed at him..."
"And you hardly stuttered-"
"H-he didn't... He didn't know w-what I'd said..." She put the teapot down with a thump, clearly struggling not to bang her head against the table as well. It wouldn't solve anything- just give her a headache. More silence...
"You never said anything to us about this." Shino said finally, his voice even. "You should have done."
"I know. I'm sorry..." Hinata sighed. "There's no p-point in even asking him now. He'll have found out f-from Sasuke, what with Sakura-chan and Ino-chan-"
"It is formal dress, correct?" Shino cut her off. The Aburame looked decidedly thoughtful, distant. Kiba's eyes narrowed in suspicion, but Hinata nodded.
"And you still need someone to go with?"
"Hmmm... It's... It's couples only..." Hinata leaned forward a little, resting her elbows on the low table the three of them were seated at. "Ano... I... I would have g-gone with Tenten-chan and... and the other girls, but i-it's only for... Ano… But I don't have anything to wear anyway, so-"
"Just turn up." Shino said. Hinata looked up in surprise.
"Make sure you're there, you can leave it to us."
"She can?" Kiba's expression said it all.
"Well, she can leave it to me anyway. You will just behave appropriately for once." Shino told him sternly, though there was the slightest hint of a grin behind his high collar. Hinata was twisting her fingers in front of her.
"You can get a dress by the weekend, right?"
"I... I guess..." Hinata stammered, completely put off by the fanged grin the Inu-nin promptly turned on her. It told her she would not like what was about to come out of his mouth...
"Never mind, Hina-chan, if all else fails... You could always just turn up in your underwear! Then Naruto would definitely notice you!"
Naturally, she had been absolutely scandalised by the comment, and even now Hinata's cheeks remembered the painful blush she had donned as she had watched the pair leave the Hyuuga complex.
It had been almost half an hour now, and Hinata found herself stood with Tenten and her teammate Neji as she waited patiently in the yard. She could already hear the music from where they were stood, but still there was no sign of Shino or Kiba, who had assured her that everything was 'under control'. She didn't really know what to expect.
"Hinata-sama." Hinata blinked in surprise, turning to see Neji looking right at her. Those eyes... Even without the Byakugan they were oddly disconcerting. Even more worrying was the barest hint of a smirk twitching oddly in the corner of his mouth, as if out of place on his usually indifferent expression. "We're going to go inside, leave you to it." Hinata blinked.
"O-oh... Okay." Tenten laughed, taking the older Hyuuga by the arm. Naturally, she had asked Neji, as her other teammate Lee was in Suna and she had no love interest at that moment in time. She was staring over Hinata's shoulder, looking far too pleased with herself for said Kunoichi's liking...
"Yeah, we'll see you inside Hina..."
"Ano... Tenten-chan, Nii-san..." But they had already left, Tenten scuttling off inside with Neji in tow, who had now gone back to his usual 'I-don't-give-a-damn' routine, since the borderline amusement Hinata's predicament had provided was no longer present. Hinata turned back to the main gate, and her breath promptly caught in her throat...
"Damn you, Shino..." Kiba muttered under his breath, slightly soothed by the arm around his waist but nevertheless determined to metaphorically drag his heels. That meant a hell of a lot of whining. "I don't know what you've been drinking, but-"
"It's only a shirt, Kiba." Shino said calmly, glancing in amusement at his scowling teammate. "Hinata would want you to look respectable." The pair were making their way towards the entrance, Shino trying to coax his scowling companion to at least act happy to be there. Both were dressed appropriately for the occasion, though it had taken a lot of threatening and bribing to convince the Inuzuka to co-operate... And blackmail. Shino found that one horribly cute picture of the sleeping Inu-nin did more than trying to talk him round ever could. No Inuzuka was supposed to do 'cute'. It wasn't good for the clan's image.
"If I'd have known this was what you were planning-"
"It's for Hinata." Shino told him firmly, jaw setting as said Kunoichi came into view. "Please, Kiba, just-"
"Okay, okay..." Kiba straightened slightly, managing to fit in one last disgruntled look in Shino's general direction. It went unnoticed, as the pair made their way up to the Academy...
Hinata went from pale and slightly windswept to beetroot purple in a matter of seconds.
"Hinata-chan. You look lovely." Shino said politely, barely nudging the Inuzuka, who nodded in agreement. The Hyuuga's mouth opened and closed on the questions that she seemed unable to voice, amazed that both of her teammates had arrived, looking half-decent, and suddenly each of her arms were loosely linked; one boy on either side.
"Ano, Kiba-kun... Shino-kun..."
"You said you needed someone to accompany you." Shino offered, in way of explanation. That 'oh' expression dawned on Hinata's face, and Kiba twisted to look over her shoulder...
"'Maru should be here by now..." He frowned, peering down the street in hope of seeing the nin-dog. "Trust him to be late- Hinata, don't look at me like that. No, I haven't lost it completely-"
"We thought we'd bring you three." Shino interjected, cutting across the younger nin. "You did say couples, but no one's going to care anyway. If you want to dance, you could always take Akamaru…" As if on cue, a rather ruffled-looking animal came sprinting around the corner, skidding to a prolonged halt at Kiba's feet. The Inuzuka put his free hand on his hip.
"You're late, 'Maru." The nin-dog gave him that pathetic, puppy-eyed look, dropping the rose he had been carrying to the floor. The flower had lost the majority of its petals and the stem was covered in drool, but Kiba unflinchingly wiped it off and turned to fasten it to one of the straps on Hinata's dress. Whilst all of this was going on, Hinata just stood there, dazed, blinking as they marched her off inside, Shino and Kiba on either arm and Akamaru at the latter's heels.
...What just happened?
It had been... Nice. Unexpected, but nice.
Almost everyone was there, with the exceptions of Lee and a few out of Hinata's year group too. Sakura had, most unfortunately, failed to bring along her arsenal of dangerous objects, and now had something orange and blonde perminantly attached to her arm. Ino had arrived with Chouji, and was now chatting to Hinata as they watched from the sidelines.
"It's great, isn't it?" Ino said breathlessly, brushing her hair from her face. Granted, the music wasn't all too great, but it was... Pleasant to be back. Just like old times. Hinata absently scratched behind Akamaru's ears, who was sat patiently, dutifully at her side, tail wagging a mile a minute.
"Hai... It's good to have everyone t-together again..." Hinata smiled, watching as Naruto tried to drag his unwilling 'date' onto the dance floor. Sakura screamed as she was lifted over the Kyuubi-container's shoulder and very nearly dropped on her head.
"I'm really glad you made it, after what happened with Uzumaki..."
"NARUTO! Put me DOWN-"
"Y-you heard about that?"
"But Sakura-chan... You don't like to dance?"
"I think everyone heard about it, Hina-chan..." Hinata flushed, and Ino laughed, putting a hand on her shoulder. "But don't worry about it. Everyone knows what he's like... He hasn't changed a bit-"
"-and you seem to have done fine anyway." She gestured towards Akamaru. "Best behaved date I've seen so far." As if to accent her point...
"Sakura-chan, I can't see if you cover my eyes like that!" ...Uchiha Sasuke was now dragging both of his teammates out of the door, trying to save himself the embarrassment of having to be seen with them in the first place. The other option would be to just leave them, and though it was a lot more appealing to the Uchiha heir, in the interests of public health and safety it was best to remove them completely.
"Ah, ano... I lost Shino-kun and Kiba-kun a while ago..." Hinata admitted, still absently petting the nin-dog. She was completely relaxed for once, considering the animal was the size he was, and sitting so close. Akamaru had grown considerably over the past few years- it was hard to imagine he used to be small enough to sit on Kiba's head. "They were... A-arguing about something..." The Hyuuga shrugged, giving a slight, nervous laugh. "Probably digging up stuff from weeks ago... Again..."
"I told you- it wasn't fair! I could beat you any day if you'd just-" Shino held up a hand, completely unruffled.
"The Kikai are my main defence. In a real situation I would not need to be hindered."
"...It's just because you know I'd kick your ass."
"Boys, eh?" Ino shook her head, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. "Always have to be right."
"Well, physical strength is your thing, and more... Advanced... Chakra control is mine."
"What are you trying to say?"
"That your clan's traditions differ to mine..." Kiba took another swig of his drink, before setting it down on the table with a thump. He growled low in his throat.
"Fine, bugs or not- let's see you beat me! Right now!"
"Here?" Shino blinked despite himself, cursing the situation for not allowing him his usual, dark glasses. "Kiba, I think that... That whatever it was has gone to your head-"
"Scared?" Kiba smiled mockingly, sharpened canines slipping into the smirk.
"Hinata-sama." Hinata jumped, turning sharply to come face to face with Neji. She squeaked, leaping backwards in alarm.
"Hinata..." He sighed, running a hand down his face in exasperation. "I hate to have to be the one to tell you this, but your dates are brawling in the street… "
"It is most unfortunate... I would have expected better of the Aburame..." Ino sighed.
"I'll see you later, Hinata." Said Kunoichi scuttled after her cousin, as Neji led the way out and across the yard. Akamaru followed obediently, one step behind her...
...And seemed to sigh deeply, in that long-suffering fashion, at his master's bad behaviour.
Shino had somehow managed to pin a seething Kiba underneath him, both were covered in dirt and sweat and the Inuzuka was howling enough obscenities to last him a lifetime.
"That wasn't fair!" He whined breathlessly, once the barrage of curse words had been exhausted. Shino's lower lip was now bleeding, despite the fact that he was openly grinning at his victory. Neither seemed to have noticed the flushed pair standing at the gate.
"I'd stick with the nin-dog, if I were you." Neji said shortly, before heading back inside. Hinata shook her head as she watched him leave, before looking down at Akamaru.
"...Care to dance 'Maru?"