AN: My third story here but actually the first naruhina and fanfiction I ever wrote. Hope you enjoy it. Please ignore spelling mistakes; I tried to get most of them out. ( I am the same Meje2 as on deviantart; I didn't steal this!)
Chasing down, being hunt
Chapter 1: A proud failure
Naruto was walking around in the forest of Konoha. His hands in his pockets and his eyes were focused on the ground. The one thing that was on his mind was Sasuke. Sasuke and the fact that he didn't returned to the village after killing Orochimaru.
'Stupid Sasuke', he thought, 'you think your high and mighty. Wait until you see how much I improved since the last time we met. I will kick your butt so hard that you will beg for mercy.'
But even thinking things like that, didn't make him feel better. He knew very well that he had a long way to go until he was strong enough to do something like that. Naruto stopped walking and looked around to see where he was. It was the place where team 7 passed Kakashi's test. Somebody was standing behind one of the wooden pillars. Forgetting everything about Sasuke, Naruto walked up to the person. It was none other than Hinata.
"Hey Hinata," a voice, that Hinata knew all too well, said. Slightly she turned her head a bit, as if she wanted the proof that it was Naruto. Then she hid behind the pillar. Her face a bit red and quite shocked about the sudden approaching. "N-Naruto-kun," she stuttered, and gazed into his blue eyes. "What are you hiding for, Hinata?" he asked, dense as ever. Hinata couldn't reply, she was trying very hard not to faint. The last time she saw him, he surprised her as well and she fainted a second after seeing his face. She didn't want that to happen again. "You don't have to hide from me," he said with that stupid grin as ever, although she found it cute. "S-sorry," Hinata mumbled, "you-you surprised me." Naruto looked astonished.
"Surprise you? With your amazing Byakugan?" That made Hinata even blush more.
Naruto looked at Hinata. 'She's still is the same,' he thought, 'somewhat at least.' He took some time to take a look at her closely. That her hair was long was the first thing he noticed. She had grown a lot, especially in the breast size. He could almost swear they were bigger than Sakura's.
The last time he didn't really had time to look at her. Shino was angry about the fact he didn't recognise him, so Naruto had to run from some annoying bugs. That was after Hinata passed out and Kiba shouted she always faints in front of him. That last thing made him think. She was in front of him now, but hadn't passed out. 'Why did Kiba say something like that', he wondered. "Na-Naruto-kun?" Hinata's voice made him go back to reality. "Why…what are you doing here?" she asked timidly.
Naruto looked at her for a minute. "You-you don't have to tell," Hinata immediately said after seeing his sad face. "Not a particular reason," he responded to her surprise. His expression was still miserable for a second and after that he tried to hide it with his huge grin. "You know that I became ge-nin here. I told you just before the chu-nin exam finals." Hinata remembers that day very well. It was one of the memories she will cherish the rest of her life. That time he also approached her so sudden and she was able to cheer him up a bit by telling he was a proud failure. Thinking of it, he said exactly the same when she asked him what he was doing here. It made her laugh a little. "What's so funny?" Naruto asked. Hinata stopped laughing and looked Naruto almost right into his face. "Uhm… you said you didn't have a particular reason that time too," she mumbled. "Really?" Naruto laughed, putting his hands behind his head.
'That she still remembers something like that, it was years ago,' Naruto thought. The few things he remembered were that he told her is that he just tried to act tough and screwed up a lot, something he still does, and that she called him a proud failure. He couldn't help to smile. "Well that time I just felt like coming here," he laughed. Hinata was still standing behind the pillar, looking at him with a blush on her face. "Today I was just walking around," Naruto said, no longer laughing. Sasuke's name came back into his mind; it made him feel down again.
Hinata saw this and wondered what happened that made Naruto look so sad. Normally he is loudmouthed and always smiling, although she knew very well it was to hide his true emotions.
"What's wrong Naruto-kun?" she asked before realizing. Naruto gazed right into her eyes, what made Hinata somewhat nervous. It was only a few seconds later that he looked away, saying "nothing," only. She knew he was lying, but didn't say that. If he did want to tell he would eventually.
Naruto looked at her from the corner of eyes and knew from her expression she didn't believe him, but she didn't asked further. He was about to say 'goodbye', when Hinata opened her mouth to say something. "You-you can a-a-always talk to m-me if you want," she muttered, blushing heavily. He was stunned for a few seconds. "Thanks, Hinata," he smiled and for some reason he was blushing, he didn't know why. "See ya," he said and moved on, leaving a paralyzed Hinata behind.
Naruto went back to the city, not knowing what to do. He wouldn't have a mission for the next few days and he was quite bored. He bumped into Sakura, who was coming out of the supermarket with a bag in her hands. "Hey Sakura," Naruto greeted. "Naruto?" Sakura replied surprised. "What are you doing?" Sakura sighed, "Getting some stuff for my parents, that's all. I don't have much to do since we don't have a mission and they don't need me in the hospital." Naruto laughed. "I'm bored too, why do you think a sleep until midday?" Sakura couldn't help to laugh. "Anyway, can I ask you something?" he asked, while walking with her. "Sure," Sakura answered, wonder what he was about to ask.
"Why does Kiba say Hinata always faints when I'm near to her?" Sakura was astonished by that question; it was the least thing she expected. "Just a moment ago I walked up to her and…" "Did she faint?" Sakura wanted to know, cutting of his sentence. "No, that's why I'm asking you why Kiba said something like that." Naruto looked confused and Sakura tried to hide her smile. It wasn't long ago that Hinata told her she loved Naruto. It was during the last mission they had, before Naruto returned home.
Sakura made some light and saw Hinata sitting straight up in her sleeping bag. "Hinata, what is it?" Her face was all red, probably wondering if she had made strange noises or said something in her sleep. Because indeed she had, that's what made Sakura wake up.
Hinata had mumbled something and the only thing Sakura could make of it was 'Naruto', but she wasn't sure.
"You were talking in your sleep," Sakura stated.
"R-r-really?" She turned even redder than she was before.
"Yeah," Sakura smirked, "you said 'Naruto'." She didn't say that she thought Hinata said 'Naruto', because she wanted to know the effect. And the result was that Hinata threw her sleeping bag over her head. "So, you really did say Naruto," Sakura said, still laughing.
Hinata put her sleeping bag a little bit down that only her eyes were visible. "What do you mean?" she asked confused. "I wasn't sure if you said Naruto, but seeing your reaction, it must be." Hinata got up fast, looking angry. "That's mean, Sakura-chan!" she yelled. Sakura started to laugh even more than before. "So you do like him," she was finally able to say, still giggling. Hinata blushed again and looked at the ground. "S-so what," she said silently, "what's so funny about it?"
Sakura stopped giggling. "Nothing except your reaction." Hinata looked up again a bit startled. "I mean, I always guessed you liked him. You where always watching him. He's just too stupid to notice, every other boy would have noticed already." This time Hinata couldn't help to smile, though still blushing. "But that's what makes him cute." Then they were both laughing.
"Sakura?" Naruto said and it made Sakura go back to reality. "Well, do you know why Kiba would lie about his team mates?" "I'm not Kiba, so I don't know," she replied. Naruto sighed.
"You're not any help, you know." Sakura smiled, "Bye." Not knowing what else to do, Naruto went to his apartment and for the first time in his life he cleaned it up properly. What else could he do?
The next day he went to the training ground to train by himself. He wanted to improve his new attack and thought that if he managed to use Rasengan without bunchin it would improve a bit. To learn faster, he used Kakashi's training method. He did make forty-nine bunshin, but they all have to make Rasengan themselves, just like when they had to cut that leave.
Hinata was standing behind a tree, not far away from the training ground. She was watching Naruto. It amazed her how many bunchin there were. Only watching him like this, inspired her to train. She was standing there for hours.
"Watching Naruto again?"
Hinata was frightened to death when she heard Sakura's voice.
"I didn't mean to scare you," Sakura said a bit uncomfortable. "I-it's ok." Hinata managed to say. Sakura was now standing beside her. "I already wondered where he was, he wasn't in his apartment." "You where in his apartment?" Hinata asked a bit jealous. "If I don't, he will sleep all day, at least that's what he used to do. Looks like he's gotten smarter and now uses his time better," Sakura grinned. Hinata grinned too. They both looked at Naruto. "He's using Kakashi's training method he told me about."
Hinata nodded. "It has been like that the whole day. It just amazing how great he is in shadow doppelgangers."
A few minutes later all the Naruto's stopped, their Rasengan where gone and a second later there was only one Naruto left. He fell down, exhausted en heavily breathing. It shocked Hinata, but Sakura remained calm. "Don't worry," Sakura reassured, "it's a side effect of the training method." She walked up to him, followed by Hinata. "See, he just fainted."
'It's funny', Hinata thought, 'normally I'm the one who faints. He looks cute, like this.'
"I think you should bring him home," Sakura said with an evil grin on her face. "What!" Hinata screamed. Quick she looked at Naruto, if she hadn't wake him up, but he was still knock out. "All right, I'll help you bringing him home, but YOU have to keep an eye on him." "But-but-but what if he wakes up and s-sees me, what do I-I have to say then?" Hinata panicked, her face nearly as red as a tomato. Sakura didn't answer and picked Naruto up by his arms. Hinata hesitated a bit, but grabbed Naruto's feet. Both girls carried the passed out blond ninja to his home. They laid him on his bed and Sakura left.
Hinata sat down on a chair, feeling very uncomfortable. And that was not only because she didn't know what to say when Naruto would wake up. It was also because she was in his apartment, his home.
After more than fifteen minutes she calmed down somewhat and, knowing that Naruto would be out for a while, she curiously looked around. Like she thought, Naruto had a lot of instant ramen in his fridge. She inspected the rest of the kitchen, but there wasn't much more to see there. In some drawers she found kunai and scrolls. In another one she found his clothes and when she opened the next one, she quickly closed it after seeing his underwear.
Blushing again she sat down on the chair, not daring to look around further, feeling like a stalker. She started to get hungry, it was already past dinnertime. Her father would probably get angry, because she didn't tell him she won't be there with dinner, but luckily Sakura promised she would tell him she was going to be late tonight.
Moved by hunger Hinata stood up and took two instant ramen out of the fridge. Knowing that Naruto would most likely wake up from the smell of ramen. She boiled some water and put the instant ramen together with the water in a bowl. Actually it smelled good, the same as fresh ramen from Ichiraku Ramen.
Naruto turned on his side, half asleep. He smelled something very common. 'Ramen', he thought and opened his eyes. He got up fully awake, wondering why he did smell ramen. When he turned his head, he saw the answer. "Hi-Hi-Hinata?" he muttered astonished. 'What is she doing here, shouldn't she be home? And how the hell did I get here,' he thought. "H-here, Naruto-kun," Hinata said softly, offering him one of the bowl she held in her hands. Still kind of startled he gradually took the bowl. "Uh…thanks," he said, not knowing what else he could say.
Hinata sat down at the table and Naruto went to sit at the other side of the table. Together they ate the ramen silently. But after they finished, Naruto asked the question she had not yet an answer for. "What are you doing here?" it didn't sound demanding, just interested.
'Think, Hinata, think. If you're not answering, he will get awkward.' "I-I…uh…I was walking with Sakura when we saw you passing out. W-we carried you here and Sakura told me to keep an e-eye on you, so I s-stayed," she stuttered silently. "O," Naruto said and then it was silent again.
"Yo-your home is nice and-and clean," Hinata said, because she didn't like the silent.
Naruto started to laugh a bit ashamed, with a light blush on his face. "I just cleaned it. Normally it's a mess." Hinata blushed with a little smile on her face. Naruto stood up. "You want some more ramen?" he asked. Hinata nodded. Naruto made two new bowls of ramen and gave Hinata one. He sat down and put some ramen in his mouth. "You know," he swallowed the ramen and looked into Hinata's face, "I never had real quests before." Hinata smiled as a reply.
That somebody was eating with him at his place, made him feel comfortable a warm inside.
Naruto explained what he did today, after that they talked about a lot of other things, like missions and (Naruto's favourite) ramen. To his surprise Hinata knew a lot about ramen.
It was dark outside when Naruto stood up to clean the table. He looked outside for a moment and then turned his head to Hinata. "It's pretty late, I'll bring you home." "Y-you don't have to," Hinata said softly and taken aback. "It's the least thing I can do, after keeping an eye on me."
Hinata didn't want to go home, but Naruto was right. It was awful late, thus she stood up and followed Naruto. He locked his apartment and together they walked to Hinata's place. "I heard you became chu-nin," Naruto started the conversation. "Uhm, yeah," she replied. Hinata knew Naruto was the only ge-nin left from their group and felt sorry for him. "Good for you, I knew you could do it," Naruto said with his goofy smile. Hinata turned red, but smiled. 'Thanks, Naruto-kun,' she thought.
When they were standing in front of Hinata's home, she thanked him and went inside. "So the boy is back." Hinata was frozen when she heard her father's stern voice. "At least he didn't let you go home by yourself. You better go to bed, it's late." "Y-yes father." Quickly she took out her shoes and ran to her room.
When Hinata entered her room she saw Hanabi was sitting on her bed, looking at her sister with an innocent face. 'O no,' Hinata thought. Trying to stay normal she walked up to her. "How was your date?" her little sister asked directly. Hinata blushed a bit. "It wasn't a date." She pushed her sister of her bed and started changing. "Suuuuure," Hanabi teased. Hinata turned around, looking down at her sister. "Look, he just fainted…" "Wow, then you two would be nice couple." "Let me finish! He trained the whole day and…" "And you watched him the whole day." "And passed out…" "Just like you always do." "So Sakura and I brought him home and I had to keep an eye on him!" Hinata was breathing heavily, looking angry at her little sister.
"Why don't you just tell him you like him," Hanabi said. Hinata turned her back to her and went on with changing. "I'm not like you." "I know, that's why dad…" suddenly she closed her mouth. Hinata knew what her sister was about to say. Luckily it wasn't entirely true anymore. Since Hinata became chu-nin, she became a little bit fonder with her father.
"S-sorry," Hanabi apologized. "It's ok," Hinata sighed and got into bed. "Good night, Hanabi." "Good night," Hanabi said and went to her own room. Under her blanket, Hinata was crying.
She was up early and made herself some breakfast. Still somewhat depressed she started eating. She didn't have a mission today and her team mates where of. Her teacher wasn't allowed to do any ninja like thing, because she was pregnant, so Hinata was on her own. Thinking about what she would do today, she came to the conclusion she could improve the Kaiten Neji taught her, without her father knowing. She still wasn't fast enough. Also she didn't manage to make a cocoon of chakra; it still had some weak points.
Her father came inside, surprised by seeing Hinata. "G-good morning, father," Hinata said. Her father gave her a little nod. Hinata stood up and walked to the door. "Be home before dinner, I don't care if the boy faints again," her father said, thinking she would watch Naruto again. "I-I will, but I am going to train. Bye, father."
There was nobody on the training ground, but that wasn't odd. It was early in the morning; she would be surprised if there was somebody.
Naruto woke up late in the morning, although earlier than normal when he has no mission. Having no mission was boring and he wanted to go back to sleep, but then remembered his strange dream that woke him. 'What was it about again?' So far he could remember some ninja kidnapped a girl that was close to him, but he couldn't remember which girl.
Annoyed he got up and made some instant ramen. Actually he had to train with Kakashi-sensei, but when he walked back after bringing Hinata home, Kakashi told him he had a jo-nin mission, so Naruto had nothing to do. Again. It was Thursday and that meant that Sakura would be working in the hospital.
"I want a mission!" he screamed frustrated leaning back in his chair. A bit too far, because he fell down. Laying on the ground he stared at the ceiling. "Let's train again," he sighed and got up. He changed clothes and walked to the training ground. From a distant he saw somebody else. Getting closer he recognised the person. It was Hinata. 'Is she doing…rotation,' Naruto thought impressed. He watched her behind a tree. She was spinning around for a while, stopped to breath and started over again. 'Wow, Hinata, you really are awesome,' Naruto thought and smiled.
Exhausted Hinata stopped her Kaiten and took some time to get some breath. She had trained for hours, without taking a break and she could feel that now. She would pass out if she didn't stop for a while, she knew. She closed her eyes and let herself fall back, expecting to fall in the soft grass. However she fell in the arms of somebody. She opened her eyes. "Hinata, are you alright?" asked a total oblivious Naruto. She couldn't believe her eyes and was too stunned to reply immediately. After a minute she nodded. "I thought you passed out," he said concerned. "N-no, I just w-wanted to take a break," Hinata said softly, looking up. Naruto smiled. "Good idea, after training that Kaiten so hard." "You-you saw?" Hinata asked surprised, blushing again. "Yeah, I was watching you for a while. You were amazing." Hinata closed her eyes, feeling like she was in heaven. "Uh, Hinata," Naruto said after a while, "could you get up; my foot is starting to go numb." Hinata immediately got up, looking at the ground. "G-gome, Naruto-kun." "No big deal," Naruto said blushing lightly.
'Strange, that felt good. Why did my foot have to fall to numb? Why didn't I just leave it like that?' Naruto thought confused. He looked at her face. Even though she was blushing like always, she looked sad. Did something happen? Did he do something wrong?
"Hinata, what's wrong?"
Hinata looked up into his face. Gazed into his blue eyes. He had sounded worried. But she didn't want to tell him she liked laying in his arms. Besides, that wasn't the major reason why she was sad. She was still brooding over what her sister had almost said yesterday.
Hinata turned her head, not knowing what to say.
"What you said the other day counts for you too. You can always talk to me."
Hinata's eyes widened and she started crying. Naruto didn't know what to do. It wasn't his intention to make her cry. He wanted to comfort her, but didn't know how. Slowly he laid his hand on her shoulder and pulled her close to him. Wrapping his arms around her. Hinata buried her face in his chest. When she finally calmed down a bit Naruto asked softly, "Do you want to tell me?" He kindly pushed her a bit away and watched her in the eyes. They were still wet from tears.
"It-it's something my sister said," she stammered avoiding his gaze, "I know she didn't mean it, but…" Hinata couldn't go on and sobbed again. "What did she say?" Naruto asked gently. "She didn't exactly say it all out loud, but I knew what she was going to say." Naruto waited until she fully answered his question, what took some time. "I said I wasn't like her and she wanted to say that's why dad doesn't think I am a good ninja. That I'm a burden, a failure," Hinata sobbed.
"But you're a chu-nin, instead of me. I am still a ge-nin." "But you were training with Jiraiya-sama for more than two years." "But I'm still a ge-nin, right? Besides, what's wrong with being a failure? I am one and I am proud on it." Hinata giggled at that last comment.
Naruto smiled. 'She's cute when she's laughing. Wait…what am I thinking?'
"Thanks, Naruto-kun," Hinata said and dried her tears. You can always cheer me up. "You're welcome," he said with his traditional smile. "Uhm…" Hinata said, she wanted ask him something, but she wasn't sure if she should. "What is it?" "Can I ask you something?" "Sure?" "Why were you so sad last Tuesday?"
Naruto looked suddenly depressed. "For-forget I asked," Hinata quickly said. "No, it's ok. It's just…" Naruto started, trying to find the right words. "Well, I heard Sasuke killed Orochimaru, but he isn't going to come home. He's most likely going after his brother, to take revenge."
Hinata didn't know how to respond. She knew very well Sasuke was like a brother to Naruto. To hear that he is not coming back must be really devastating for him.
"But if we go after Akatsuki, we will get close to him." 'Akatsuki?' "Uhm, what is Akatsuki?" Hinata asked carefully. The blond ninja looked shocked as if he had said too much. "An evil organisation. Sasuke's brother is part of it," he explained slightly. It sounded like he was hiding something, but Hinata didn't ask.
It was then that they both realized Naruto had still his arms around Hinata. Instantly Naruto let go and Hinata backed of, both an embarrassed expression on their face. Hinata looked at the ground, if she hadn't she would have noticed that Naruto was also blushing greatly.
When they heard rustle in the bushes, they got both on guard. Hinata used Byakugan to see what made that noise. "It's a Cloud ninja," she whispered terrified, remembering the day she was kidnapped by one of them.
They both stood up, Hinata hiding behind Naruto.
Knowing that Hinata was once kidnapped by Cloud, it didn't surprise him she was afraid. 'Don't worry, I will protect you,' he thought. He wanted say it out loud, but for some reason he couldn't.
The Cloud ninja came out of the bushes.
"Hyuga Hinata, you'll go with me," he said.
AN: Yay cliffhanger! D.