Disclaimer- No. Eat slugs.

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Bonding

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Hinata sighed tired as she left Konoha Hospital. She had just returned from a B-ranked mission and her whole body ached from the surprise attack that was launched on her team on the way back to the village. The fight wasn't terribly long, but the ninja who jumped them were highly skilled and by the end of the skirmish almost every last drop of her chakra was spent. Sakura kindly asked if the shy Hyuuga wanted to spend the night at the hospital instead of walking home in the dark, but the thought made her fingers tingle. She had a mild aversion to hospitals, even nice ones like the on in Konoha.

Halfway back to the Hyuuga compound the door of a rundown bar slammed open and three men were forcibly shoved out into the street. A snarling voice followed them out, and it made a shiver run down Hinata's spine.

"Get out and stay out! If you can't pay, you're not welcome!"

The three men were obviously civilian and extremely inebriated. Or, as Neji so crudely remarked once, they were drunk off their asses. To Hinata's dismay the group of men were swaying and stumbling in her direction, and on her side of the sidewalk. She tried to cross the street as quietly as she could without attracting the attention of the potentially dangerous men, but as she reached the other side her foot slid into the side of a bottle that had been hidden in shadow and the glass object rattled down the street. She froze.

"Whazzat? Who's there?" One of the men slurred, raising his half empty bottle of sake warningly.

"Heeeey, look guys…it's a pretty little lady. Lost you way, sweetheart?" The man in the middle of the group started towards her, and she could hear little warning bells going off in her head.

She was in no condition to fight after her mission, and the group of men were blocking her way to the Hyuuga compound. She thought she might've been able to outrun them, but the man in the middle didn't seem to be nearly as drunk as the other two and he was advancing on her pretty quickly.

"N-no, I'm fine…please, just leave me be!" Fear made the hairs on her arms and the back of her neck stand on end, and the man moving towards her motioned to the rest of his group.

"C'mon guys, let's walk the nice lady home. She could get herself into all kinds of trouble if she walks alone." The leader sneered, and the yellow lamplight cast his face in a half shadow, terrifying the already scared Hinata.

The other two men were staggering her way, and it an instant she realized they had spread out and if she tried to run now there would be a man to catch her no matter which way she went. Her mind hazy with fear and exhaustion she backed into the small alleyway behind her, blinking her pale eyes to adjust to the light change so she could find a place to hide before the men were close enough to see where she was in the dark shadows. Running silently to the end of the alley she realized with a sickening horror that there was nowhere for her to hide that would do any good, and she had no way of crawling out of the trap.



"Where are you running to, sweetheart? It's not like we're going to hurt you. Much." There was a ricochet of drunken laughter bouncing off the grimy alleyway walls, and Hinata finally resorted to her last option.

"SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!"

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Naruto waved goodbye to Iruka as he left a late congrats dinner at Ichiraku's. He had recently been promoted to Jounin, but Iruka had been out on a mission when it happened. Naruto smiled contentedly to himself, but he couldn't stop the smile from spreading into a wide grin. He whooped victoriously, noting that he was one step closer to finally claiming the prized title of Hokage.

Taking to the rooftops he jumped from peak to peak, relishing the wind in his face. He was a Jounin. A Jounin. Flipping off the top of a building he landed silently in the dirt road below and began to walk leisurely the rest of the way to his apartment when a distant scream caught his attention.

"SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!"

The voice was high and feminine, and it almost sounded familiar. Whatever the case, Naruto spun on his heel and pumped chakra into his legs, running in the general direction the cry for help had come from.

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Hinata backed against the wall of the alley, watching with tear filled eyes as the clouds parted and moonlight bathed her attackers in pale white light. Her mind suddenly flashing to her family, she realized that her father would probably disown her if she was…defiled. It would be no excuse that she had just come back from a mission and was dead tired, she was a shinobi, and if she couldn't even fend off a few drunk civilians she was of no use to her clan anymore. She would just make them look weak.

Squeezing her eyes shut, she choked on a small sob. Her clan would look down on her, refuse to acknowledge her existence, Neji would probably never speak to her for shame that she was from the main branch and cast a blemish on their seemingly flawless clan reputation. Then an even more horrifying thought struck her as her to-be attackers closed in. would…would this make her friends disown her too? Would they start to think of her as some sort of risqué little harlot?

"Naruto-kun…" Tears began to roll down her cheeks as she whispered his name.

"Naruto-kun!" The leader of the men mocked her, earning a few loud cackles from the sloshed men behind him. "Who's that, your boyfriend? Hubby, maybe? Well you can just forget him now. He won't want you anymore once he finds out you're…damaged goods. But you know, you could always come with me, be my little whore…" He winked suggestively and she shook her head.

"P-please, please just leave me alone…" She whispered, her voice small and broken with tears.

The man was almost at arms length now, and Hinata was near hysterics. She couldn't let him touch her. She wouldn't. She'd never be able to face her friends again, least of all Naruto, if she got out of her alive. Prepared to fight for her personal space she struck out, only to have the man grab her hand and then the other. She attempted a kick, and the man transferred both 

of her small hands to one of his larger ones and blocked her attacking appendage. Leaning in, the stench of alcohol on his breath made her stomach lurch. He pressed his mouth to her ear, hissing damning words.

"I'm a street fighter sweetheart, your pathetic little struggling will get you nowhere." She gasped as his one empty, calloused hand slipped under her shirt and was just reaching her navel when a vicious snarl echoed in the small alleyway, making the man freeze.

"What the hell--"

"HINATA!!" The roaring voice came from above, and just as the man holding her captive looked up her savior came down, slamming his fist into the street fighters' face and busting his nose.

"Don't you DARE touch her you bastard!!" Hinata sank to her knees as she recognized the voice, but he sounded…off.

"Hey man, who the – holy shit!! Guys, run! I fucking said RUN!!" The man Naruto punched had staggered to his feet, clutching his heavily bleeding nose. He had been about to step forward when he caught sight of the blonde's furious red eyes and immediately retreated, his friends following hot on his heels.

"HEY! I wasn't DONE with you yet!" The enraged Naruto was about to flashstep after the fleeing group when a small voice from behind stopped the rage cold in his veins.

"N-Naruto-kun, please….just let them go."

He turned, incredulous blue eyes replacing angry red and his violent claws receded back into normal fingernails. He was knelt before her in an instant, trying to see her face. But her head was down and her hair cast over her eyes and shadowing her features so he couldn't make out an expression.

"I don't want you to be convicted of murder over me. Just let them go."

"But Hinata! Do you know what they…what they were going to do to you!? What they almost did to you!?"

"I know, Naruto-kun!" Her voice rose shrilly, and the blonde instantly regretted pushing her in her fragile state.

"I'm sorry, Hinata-chan." He slowly reached out and wrapped his arms around her shaking body, pulling her into a safe, warm cocoon of a hug that only Naruto could give. "I'm sorry."

He rocked her gently back and forth as she cried, leaving warm damp spots on his shirt. When her shivering form relaxed he finally got a look at her face, and a sting of anger and hurt flashed through his system. Her eyes were red and puffy, her cheeks rubbed to the point of irritation in an attempt to get rid of the tears. There were bite marks on her lower lip from trying to sob quietly, and there already were bags under her closed eyes. If he ever saw those men again they would pay dearly.

Slipping off his large jacket he easily wrapped it around her thin shoulders and then adjusted her so he was carrying the battered Hyuuga bridal style. They arrived at his apartment about five minutes later by way of rooftop, and as he walked into the quiet of his abode Hinata shifted.

"Mnn….Naruto-kun?"



"Hm?" She almost smiled at how the rumble of his chest vibrated against her.

"Where…where are we?" she rubbed her puffy eyes and he gently pulled her hand away, thumb rubbing her knuckles.

"My apartment. I don't feel right taking you back to the Hyuuga compound the way you are now. They can wait 'til morning. Is that okay, Hinata-chan?"

"U-uh…" She nodded slightly, and he smiled.

"Good. Do you mind sleeping in my room?"

"B-but…"

"I'll take the couch. I'm sure I've slept on more uncomfortable places!" He offered a smile and warm blue eyes and then turned his attention to his bedroom door.

Once in the room he set her on the edge of the bed and pulled back the sheets, sliding her exhausted frame underneath. She breathed in deeply and exhaled, marveling in the smell of her lifelong crush. It was…good. Really good. She smiled softly.

"Thank you, Naruto-kun." He grinned.

"No problem! So, uh…are you, you know, okay?" He knelt by the bed so his face was level with hers.

"Mm-hm…" was all she could manage, staring into his deep blue eyes. Kind of an ocean blue on a sunny day.

Without saying anything he brushed hair from her face and got up, breaking her daze. Stopping by the doorframe he turned halfway to tell her to yell if she needed anything. One last smile and his was back in the small living room, the door shut and blocking her view. Not that she needed on for long. Barely a minute had passed since he left and she was already sleeping. Naruto finished readying the couch for his temporary use as a bed, so he cracked the bedroom door and peered in. The only light was that which came in through the door, illuminating Hinata's half-buried face poking out from under his thick grey comforter. He smiled. It seemed so natural, her sleeping in his bed. As soon as Naruto caught himself thinking it he frowned and closed the door. He wasn't good enough to deserve an angel like that.

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"No, please don't!" Hinata struggled against her bindings.

She was back in the alleyway, but this time her hands and feet were chained so it looked like she was stuck in the middle of a jumping jack. The only man there was the street fighter from before. He was grinning maliciously as he paced forward, like a cat stalking its helpless prey.

"Tsk tsk. The more you struggle the harder this is going to be." He stopped for a moment, his grin spreading further to reveal more tobacco ruined teeth. "And this time sweetheart, no one is coming to save you. They all know about your little charade last time. Apparently no one thinks it's worth the trouble to save a whore."

"No…" Tears burned her eyes.



"Now, where were we? Oh yes…" He started forward again, drawing a crude knife from a sheath on his leg. "The shirt will go first."

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Naruto woke to the sound of whimpering coming from his bedroom. His moment of confusion passed as he remembered what had transpired and who was currently occupying his bed. Slipping from underneath a light blanket he paced to the door and opened it slowly. Hinata was restlessly tossing back and forth, the numerous blankets on the bed tangling at her feet. Naruto started when she started to talk, but he realized she was dreaming. Silently creeping over beside the bed he leaned down in an attempt to hear what she was saying.

"Nnnn…don't…don't touch me…" His eyes widened as he realized what sort of a dream she was having.

"Hina-chan, it's okay. Hush, shhh…" He sat on the edge of the bed and stroked her hair, and finally she settled again. Smiling softly he stood and turned towards the door.

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Just as the man was about to slice her shirt open with his knife a familiar voice echoed in the alleyway.

"Don't you dare touch her, you monster!" The man spun only to have a fist slam into his face, just like before.

Naruto wordlessly kicked the unconscious man aside and removed her binds, his blue eyes gentle. But as soon as she was free she fell, unable to move her legs. Landing on hands and knees she looked up to see her savior walking away. The street fighter beside her stirred.

"Wait! Naruto-kun, please, don't go!"

For a moment it seemed like he didn't hear her, and then he turned, blinking.

"Don't leave me." He smiled and came back, gathering her up in his arms like before.

"Sleep, Hinata-chan."

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Hinata shifted in her sleep again, and Naruto looked back.

"Naruto-kun….don't go…"

He looked unsettled for a moment, and then sighed. He rounded the bed and slipped in on the other side, briefly glad it was a king size. Unsure at first, he hesitantly wrapped his arms around the slumbering girls' waist, and the closed the gap between them. She stirred again, and he rested his forehead against her hair.

"Sleep, Hinata-chan." He murmured into her hair and closed his eyes, immediately deciding it was already one of the best nights of sleep he had ever gotten.

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Hinata woke, first to a warmth all over, and a soft breath on her ear. Then came mild panic. Chakra almost completely restored, she activated the Byakugan and realized she was with…Naruto. He was still out, so she rolled around until she was facing him. Byakugan deactivated, she studied his calm face, touched his whisker scars, and the closed her eyes to fall asleep again. She wanted him to wake her up the next time.

An hour or so later Naruto woke slowly, yawning. He blinked sleepily down at the Hyuuga girl nestled in his arms and almost shot off the bed with surprise. Now fully awake, his memory of her nightmare the night before was why he was…well, where he was. But he could've sworn she had her back to him when he fell asleep. Taking his time, he dropped his forehead down to meet hers and gave her a kiss on the nose. Her face twitched.

Deciding it was about time he removed himself so he could wake her up without completely scaring her, he easily slid out of the bed and walked around to the other side to shake her shoulder. Hinata rolled over, blinked up at him, and murmured in the cutest voice he had ever heard.

"G'morning….Naruto-kun." She yawned and sat up.

Naruto studied her as she woke, noting the redness of her eyes was almost completely gone and the bags weren't even noticeable. He realized she was looking for something a moment later, so he tilted his head and asked.

"Whatcha looking for?"

"Oh, uhm, where's…..where'sthebathroom?" She flushed, staring at her hands.

Naruto held out his hand, and she just stared at it like he was offering her drugs or something.

"Hinata-chan, I don't bite."

She blinked in surprise and suddenly realized what he was doing. She flushed again and took his hand softly and he pulled her up.

"Right this way!" Pointing flamboyantly ahead of him he dragged her through the door, not even noticing she just sort of stumbled along. He was holding her hand.

He looked her up and down, and then tugged her sleeve to get her attention.

"Oh?"

"When you're uh, getting ready to take a shower, uh, you can just toss your stuff out here….so they'll be washed when you're done." He scratched the back of his head in embarrassment, the tan of his skin hiding the color creeping over his cheeks.

"O-oh. Uhm, thank you, Naruto-kun." Not quite knowing what to do with herself after that, she bowed hastily and jumped into the bathroom, shutting the door quickly behind her. She glanced in the mirror and almost 'eeped'. Her face was red as a tomato.

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The trip to the Hyuuga compound was quiet, and as they reached the entrance Naruto knew he'd be going no further so he lightly took a hold of Hinata's elbow. She stopped, turning to him with a small spread of pink across her cheeks.

"N-Naruto-kun?"

"Hinata-chan, just so you know, I'm always going to be around. Nobody will ever get that close ever again." He face was set seriously, his blue eyes dark with a strange sort of intensity. Her flush darkened.

"Uhm, thank you, Naruto-kun. For saving me, and…and everything else." She ducked her head to stare at her shoes.

"Hinata-chan?"

She glanced up, and this time his features were lighter, a half grin on his face. Tense moment over.

"See you soon?"

She nodded, smiling shyly.

"S-see you soon."

They both turned, going their separate ways.

She was trying to reign in the flush and smile that always occurred after a pleasant encounter with the blonde, and he was grinning ear to ear, nearly flying across the rooftops.

See you soon.

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So uh, yeah. X3 correct me if I'm wrong, but this is my very first attempt at writing NaruHina. I kept wanting to make them so squeeshy, cuz I can totally see it happening! XD They're nice to write, a very nice relief from SasuSaku, cuz I don't have to worry about caging emotions. They can run freeeeeeeeee!! XD Just I little hyper I guess. I tend to get that when I write really late at night. So, it's almost 2AM and I'm excited to post my first NaruHina!! X3 Please tell me how it is, what you think, and if I should turn this into a collection of one-shots, because I've already got two or three other NaruHina's halfway done. n.n

Anywho, the only thing I'm actually worried about is the mood of the whole thing. Did it flow okay? I was going for that kind of descriptive-y, intense-ish stuff at the beginning, and the end should've been fluffy/lighthearted, but I just want to make sure it transitioned okay. Reviews please! n.n Oh yeah, and I guess Naruto and Hinata were prolly in their early twenties-ish, I guess. X) Never really thought about it until now.

Mistoffelees Shadow