A very happy birthday to my good friend gaara-o-sand. Here's your present!
Math test today.
Naruto hated math.
It wasn't that he's not good at math (though his report cards would say otherwise, especially since the weather has gotten hotter). He understood it just fine. When this popped up you did this and this. And don't use second function on your calculator for these questions. And t hat was what you did for Pythagorean Theorem. And keep your eyes on your paper or you'll look up and see her and everything you studied last night will liquefy and drain out your ears.
Naruto hated math.
Because she was in his class.
She . . . she was beautiful. She wasn't like the other girls who hid every freckle with layers of makeup. She seemed the exact opposite. She was pale aside from the blush always painted on her cheeks. She kept her hair short, and rebelled the latest fashions with that big beige jacket she always wore.
Yeah, it didn't make sense to him either why she insisted-
-on wearing that monstrosity when she could easily get away with short-shorts and mini-tees . . . on second thought, it would be better if she didn't. The only thing below his current mark was failing, and that wouldn't be good.
She was wearing shorts today. What? Oh don't worry, his eyes are on the paper, but he couldn't help but drool when she walked into class. It took some self restraint to not jump on his desk and howl like a madman.
Whoops, he was fantasizing. He looked up and checked the clock. Twenty minutes already?
Oh crap, not this type of question. That had been the day her desk leg broke. The only empty desk was the one right beside his. She gave him a tiny smile before she sat down and he ended up spending the entire class watching her eyelashes flutter between the board and her notebook. He hadn't gotten so much as half a page of notes.
He probably didn't stand a chance with her either. His boastful attitude and career goal didn't help much. And the fact that he didn't know the first thing about girls probably just sealed the deal. He'd never had a girlfriend in his life. And being an orphan, he couldn't exactly ask a relative for help.
But being an orphan did have it's . . . advantages? He had learned early on that you had to work for what you got. People didn't give, you had to take it.
Oh dear god.
What was that?
"Fifteen minutes left!"
It was small, very small. And light purple, but he couldn't make it out from halfway across the classroom. It curved and spiraled around her ankle in long flowing strokes. But he still couldn't make out the image.
"Ten minutes left."
Oh screw it, Naruto sighed. He knew there was no way he was passing anyways. His feet slowly dragged out from under his desk, nudging aside his bag and standing.
Iruka had skepticism all over his face when he saw Naruto's paper. Almost every other question was incomplete or blank and the last five hadn't been attempted.
"Naruto," said Iruka, taking in his slouch and hands in his pockets, "What is this?"
"My math test. You should know what it looks like, you were the one to hand them out."
"Don't get smart with me." Iruka slid the paper away to the far side of his desk. "I've seen your other grades, and none of them are near as bad as this class."
She was done now. He could tell by the way she checked it over. Her right heel rose up and she kept one hand at the base of her neck.
"If this keeps up you are going to fail. I'm assigning you a tutor."
He knew what each of her movements meant, an obvious result of failing too many math tests. When she crossed her ankles she was nervous. Crossed legs meant she was bored. If her head was resting on her fist (which rarely happened) she was frustrated. And if she was walking towards him right now . . .
"It'll have to be someone who can put up with you though. That will certainly narrow the search."
She had just put her own test on Iruka's desk when-
She looked up. He did too.
"You're doing very well in this class."
"Th-thank you sir." she blushed. She blushes easily, though the only time he saw her face turn entirely red was when someone sent her a singing valentine. They caught her in the middle of the hallway and sang from an anonymous love in front of everybody. She turned as red as the rose she was carrying-
"I would like to ask you a favor Hinata."
"A-a favor?" she was locking her fingers together. What did that one mean?
"Yes. I'd like you to tutor Naruto in math if you would." Naruto stared at Iruka in horror. Hinata was staring at the floor. No, no, no! You idiot Iruka, that'll never work!
"I . . . s-suppose I could."
"Wonderful. Now if you two would go sit down the bells about to-"
Math test today.
Ino was fine at math.
She wasn't exactly gifted at it, but she did well enough. Well enough to stay in the class so she could fawn over Uchiha Sasuke.
Ino was sweltering. It was at least 30 degrees out and she still had to bear the bus ride home. In a leather seat. With no air conditioner
Ino collapsed beside Sakura, a blonde sweaty mess. Sakura was otherwise having her own troubles.
"Is Naruto acting different lately?" Sakura asked her. Naruto himself stumbled down the aisle to his regular seat, where he sat carefully, to avoid the patch of leather that had been cooking in the sun. "He seems . . . odd."
"You mean he seems to be not trying to make you his girl. Sakura, he stopped that a year ago." Ino sniffed.
"Hi Sasuke-kun!" they chorused.
"He seems. . . I don't know. . ."
Naruto looked back at the rear of the bus. Hinata was sitting with her cousin, Neji. Everyday she would sit by the window while Neji sat beside her. In the Hyuuga house, family was very important. What little time he spent with her was spent guarding her. Once a boy had pelted her with spitballs during a test. The next day the boy in question (Hinata herself didn't even know who it was) came in with a painfully sprained wrist and fear in his eyes.
Now, Neji was sitting straight, arms crossed, ignoring the pleas of the green-clad, teacher-idolizing boy in the seat next to him.
"Hinata looks . . ." Ino looked at Sakura, "Distracted."
The girls both peered over the back of the seat. Hinata was gazing out the window, her eyes darting every-which way.
"Oi, what are you doing?" Shikamaru, the boy behind them, asked.
"Shh!" Ino hushed back as a rubber band went flying over her head. "Be quiet lazy ass."
"What, spying on Sasuke again?"
"Shut up!" complained the boy beside him.
Ino and Sakura turned around stiffly. The bus slowly squeaked to a halt.
"Ugh, my stop." Ino hitched her bag higher on her shoulder. "Hey, why isn't Naruto getting off?"
Sakura glanced over. Through pairs of legs she could see the familiar blond head, un-moving from his seat.
"Are you sure this is his stop?" Sakura asked Ino.
"Yes! I'm positive, he gets off with me everyday. Something's up between those two, and I don't think it's about classes."
Math test today.
Hinata was good at math.
It's not that she was particularly . . . a genius. That title was reserved for her cousin. It was just easy to her. That was what got her into this mess. But not that Naruto was a mess! He was nice to her, charming even. She just got nervous around him. More so than normal. Hinata was a regularly shy person, but she felt positively flustered around him.
The gravel crunched under her sandals as she walked the old path to her house. She was famous as a Hyuuga already, but she preferred coming home through the gap in the hedges of the side garden.
Maybe it was because he was always looking at her. Often time she would stop in the middle of a test, or notes, and feel someone watching her. But when she would look up everyone was working. And Naruto was busy scratching something out (why did he always work in pen?).
Or maybe it was because he was trailing right behind her, waiting to be tutored, alone, with her, in an empty room.
"I . . . are you having trouble with . . . do you understand . . ?" Hinata trailed off helplessly, feeling more and more un-tutor-like by the second. Naruto was sitting beside her on a stool, his elbows leaning on the counter in a nervous fit of bad manners. She wasn't exactly sure how they ended up in her kitchen, or how her father ended up being out of the house today, she was just sure that she and Naruto alone in her house (alone) for a few hours (alone) was not good. Not good.
"Would it be too much if I said everything?" he laughed weakly but stopped almost immediately. "Um-"
"How about . . ." Hinata took a breath and smoothed out non-existent wrinkles from her shorts. "I . . . will go get my math book and . . . "she took another breath, trying very hard not to stutter," and you . . . I . . . will be right back." The stools were higher that she remembered them being, after almost tripping. Her legs did almost nothing to support her as she stumbled down the halls, plain white with no pictures of smiling families.
She burst into her room and flung herself onto her bed not a second to late.
Hinata promptly fainted.
Luckily for her, not two minutes later her phone rang, waking her from her daze. Still half-asleep, she reached for her bedside table; managing to knock a pen, two blue scented candles, and a clock off before she found the source of the noise.
"Uhm . . . Hello?"
"Hinata?!" Ino, she thought as she wearily held the phone away from her now ringing ear.
"Uhm . . . yes?"
"Are you okay? You were acting weird after classes. Oh, are you worried that you might have failed?! Honestly, you have never failed anything, and you study all the time. Sometimes I think you read textbooks for fun. Remember that girl in grade six? Oh-my-gawd, she did not have a life. And she could practically quote from the notes we had to take. I bet she would have never got a guy. But that's beside the point. Remember right before the year end exams? Yeah well she broke her number two pencil and went positively insane. I'm serious, she had a nervous breakdown and they had to take her-" Hinata glanced out her window. Once Ino got started there was no stopping her (Hinata would look back on previous conversations and wonder if Ino ever breathed).
"Seriously, we will not let that happen to you, so come to the lake with us today. We're throwing Sasuke in the water so he has to take his clothes off."
"Yeah, we've even got the boys helping because they want to see if he wears eyeliner."
"Well . . ." Hinata pinned the phone between her ear and shoulder as she spoke. Her fingers skimmed over her schoolbooks, looking for the lime green binder.
"Oh no you don't." Ino warned. "You are coming with us if I have to come to your house myself, and I don't care how scary you dad is I'll-"
"Ino there . . . is already someone here . . . "
"What?!" Hinata cringed again as her other ear started ringing. She really had to start expecting these things. "Who's there?!"
"Uhm . . . N-Naruto."
Naruto was currently trying to stay impassive. When he didn't think, he wouldn't realize how much of an absolutely horrifying/perfect situation he was in. And how easily he could screw it up.
He glanced down. Math. Pythagoras Theorem. He could do that. He was just doing Math on a kitchen counter. A regular ki-
And then his brain imploded. Well it felt like it had.
She wasn't wearing her jacket. And right now Naruto was thinking it was extremely ironic for the one thing he wanted would be his downfall. Her shirt was periwinkle blue, with a strawberry above her left b- . . . above her heart. He was barely managing to not stare.
"I . . . uh . . . " she put her math book between them (where had that come from?) "I thought . . . we could go through my . . . my notes and see w-what you . . . um . . . have trouble with." Hinata was so organized.
Hinata was a mess, and crumbling on the inside. Somehow Ino had convinced her to take off her jacket. True, it was sweltering out and she deserved a chance to relax, but she never took off her jacket. It was just second nature to her that she would shrug on and zip up her coat every time she stepped out the door. It was a rare occasion when she didn't. Hinata was extremely self conscious. Furthermore, she had a lot to be self conscious about.
"Um . . . " Hinata flipped and rustled through notes and tests while Naruto got glimpses of her small, tight writing. "Did . . . did you, um . . . " She glanced between him and the notebook "Uh-"
"Similar triangles." he nodded at the title. "Yeah, that one was fine."
She nervously flipped to another sections of pages. She swallowed thickly, her toes fidgeting on top of each other. "Uhm . . . Did you . . ."
"Yeah." he said, planting his elbow on the counter once more. "That one was cake." Hinata frowned at the page. That one had been particularly difficult to her. The formula just hadn't stuck with her, even after a week of studying the chapter over again.
Slowly the pair went over every term, equation, solution, method and problem. She meticulously questioned him and learned that he was much smarter than he let on, and was capable of more than anyone would assume. Hinata couldn't understand why he was so close to failing.
He was so close to failing. It took every once of will and innocence left in him to not reach around and pin her to the counter. It would be so easy too, considering how close they were already. If he wanted to, he could probably count every eyelash, but that would constitute as staring and he would not let himself get caught, not when he was enjoying himself so.
Enjoyment? Was he really enjoying this torture? This agonizing punishment of putting them in a room together and relying on his clumsiness and blonde personality to make sure nothing happened. Fate was cruel.
She was explaining something now, better nod along . . . her hair smelled like strawberries, but he was not thinking about that, he was watching her fingers point to what she was trying to get across. . .
She had really small hands.
He had really big hands. That wrote big loopy writing and fought big arrogant guys very much older than him.
He had said something about 'easy'; better flip to the next chapter . . . This was not working. Every time he pointed at the page his hand would swing back to his side and brush the skin left exposed above her shorts. Deep breath.
He was trying to point to something on the far page, awkwardly twisting his elbow. Finally he gave up and slid his arm around her waist, under her elbow, and onto the page.
"Now you see, this question here," he said as he leaned against her, "I never got that once." he said into her ear.
His pulse was beating warm and hard against the wrist resting o her hip. He pointed to something further up the page, almost enveloping her lithe body with his own.
The phone on the wall rang to life and they sprang apart. Hinata rushed to the phone and fumbled it twice before she got it to her ear.
"Uh . . . h-hello?"
She winced ant held the phone away from her ear for the second time.
"Ino, shut up!" There was a shuffling noise and the sound of fading music in the background.
"Oh, h-hi Sakura."
"What are you doing right now?" there was a crunch of gravel before Ino shouted.
"Cause we're at your house right now!"
"Ino would you Shut. Up!"
"Y-you're here?" Hinatas stomach clenched. If they were here, they would find Naruto. And if they found Naruto then they would find out he was being tutored. . . unless Ino already told Sakura he was there and they both had jumped to the conclusion that he was there for-
"Yeah! Ino said you wanted to take a study break, so we've come to take you to the lake!"
"W-well I. . . "
"Fine!" Ino shrieked, "We're coming in!"
There was a shuffle on the other end and before she could register that the line was dead, or stutter a warning to the boy looking expectantly, Ino had somehow vaulted the hedges and pressed her hands against the window to look in (leaving grimy handprints that Hinata knew someone would complain about).A slightly less twig-ridden Sakura stepped up beside the blonde, waving happily. Her actions faltered as she saw Naruto looking awkward and out of place by the refrigerator. She snuck a look at Ino and by the smile on her face, knew they were thinking the exact same thing. And it went somewhere along the lines of Hinata in a bikini and Naruto bleeding profusely from his nose.
Naruto's eyes watered as he squinted into the wind. His first ride in a convertible was exceedingly awkward. As Ino and Sakura warbled along to the radio, Hinata nervously mangled the collar of her jacket. He couldn't blame her for sitting so far away from him that she was almost one with the car door. Even he was ignoring the painful throbs he was inducing on his elbow. But what scared him the most about what (didn't) happen, was the raw want that had willed the electricity between them to keep crackling and for the situation to keep going. The most frightening thing was he had never felt it before. Nor for Sakura, not for his orange jacket, not even for the bowls of ramen that stacked his cupboards and dreams so heartily. Although now that he thought about it, even a steaming bowl of ramen from Ichirakus would never make his heart squeeze or his breathing stop like she did. He glanced over at Hinata again and saw her differently from before. With Ino and Sakura butchering a bouncy pop song and sweat plastering him to his seat, he watched her lilac eyes and her tiny blush and the lips that he found so enticing. And somehow (and later his friends would look back and wonder if some godly power had reached down and helped him along), somehow he came to the obvious conclusion that he liked her. He definitely more then liked her, seeing as he was almost failing math because of her, and few girls nowadays had the privilege to be the cause of something that large-scale.
Now Naruto started to panic. He like Hyuuga Hinata. Hyuuga Hinata! Who shares a house and a family with Hyuuga Neji. Who breaks body parts just for looking at his cousin wrong. And so to make things worse, she was his tutor. And to top that they were going to the lake. To swim. In bathing suits.
Oh Fate was more than cruel.
Fate was a bitch.
Balmy days at the beach are one of the things you picture when you think about summer. You remember past summers with warm sand under your feet, attractive scenery in string bikinis and cool water to splash your friends with. But somewhere between you not experiencing summer for a good ten months, and just wanting school to end, you forget the little things. Like how the sand under your feet is as hot as hell, and gets everywhere. Or how the beach is a place not just for attractive teens, and hosts and wide variety of people, from the naked babies that cry when their parents force them in the water, to the wrinkly old ladies that still think they can pull of a two piece.
Some people are even so impatient to wait for beach season to roll around, they head out early. Ino and Sakura are some of those people. Eager to make memories and 'stay friends forever', they usually forget that after two feet, the water get a little cold.
"I am not going in there." Shikamaru grumbled, pulling his toe out from the water. He lazily trudged back up the beach and flung himself on the large yellow beach blanket that had been brought. His eyes followed a thin scattered cloud until it disappeared behind Ino's head.
"Don't be a lazy ass!" she shrieked at him.
"Don't be troublesome." he threw back.
"Ugh, I cannot believe you! This could be our last chance before finals to actually do stuff and you're just sitting on your ass like you always do. You can do that at home! I mean I don't think I'll see any of you for two weeks, I'm cramming so much. So get up and have some fun with us! I thought you were supposed to be smart seeing how you skipped a grade and all!" Ino took a rare breath and everyone rolled their eyes and braced themselves for what was to come.
Further back, near a clutch of oak trees were Naruto and Hinata. The latter had slipped her sandals off and was wiggling her toes deeper and deeper in the the slippery sand. The former had his hands in his pockets and was willing himself not to have a stroke.
Hinata sat down and tucked her legs underneath her. She opened her book and took out a stack of papers stapled together.
"Iruka gave m-me the test we just wrote. I th-thought we . . . could go over it." she slipped a pencil out from her pocket and handed them both to him. Naruto took them, hesitated, and then sat down right beside her. They were close enough for their shoulders to press together.
For a long while, neither of them said anything. Naruto worked diligently on the test he had been given, doing equations in the sand when he didn't have a calculator. Hinata on the other hand sat silently, threading buttercups and forget-me-nots into a crown. She had mixed feeling about tutoring him. On one hand, he was very smart, he could pass math with flying colors. One the other hand, his marks were still in the dumps, and she did like being around him. How could he be doing so badly when he was-
Hinata jumped a little. "W-what?"
Naruto was standing over her, pencil behind his ear, test in hand. "I'm done. Here." He dropped it at her feet and with a nervous look, turned at joined the others at the water. There was a scuffle, a splash, and several yells as Sasuke was successfully thrown into the water, unfortunately taking everyone that had thrown him in too. He took his shirt off, to the girls delight, and then proceeded to wipe at his eyes. 'Just getting the water off' thought the girls. 'Just getting the evidence off' thought the boys 'we'll get him when he's unprepared, don't worry. We'll get him when he's wearing eyeliner.'
Minutes later, Hinata joined him, leaving the completed and correct test half buried in the sand. The last page stuck out, waving in the wind, where Naruto had written u plus m-e equals less than three. Or, to others what looked like: you and me equals love.
It took eight 'tutorings' for Naruto to ask Hinata out. Another five after that to kiss her. Neji grudgingly accepted him, mostly due to a slightly elevated conversation between Hinata and himself. The rumor mills twisted out a story of forbidden love. A modern Romeo and Juliet they said (only nobody died dumbass! And their families aren't mortal enemies!), which was quickly squashed by Sakura and Ino. Iruka was delighted when Naruto's math grades soared, thinking it was due to the tutoring itself. In reality it was due to the fact that Naruto didn't need to watch her during lessons now that he saw Hinata outside of math class (in which a many things happened, including Ice cream, movie dates, and finding out that Sakura and Ino had applied a temporary tattoo to her ankle when she was sleeping. 'I wondered what that was.' 'They thought it would make me a l-little looser')
And so in conclusion, attend the beach only when hot enough to swim, guys should not wear eyeliner as it only causes them more trouble that it is worth, ride buses with air conditioning, singing valentines are embarrassing, listen when you're friends tell you that you talk to much, and if all else fails . . . listen to your 'less than three'.
AN: So as you can see a Naruto fic in my usually Teen Titan-y profile. I wrote this last year as a birthday present! LaSt YeAr!! and i only finished it on the tenth of may, the day of gaara-o-sands birthday party (i like to cut it close obviously).
As for the story itself, i wanted a high school setting without it being horribly hormonal ( i am sixteen! not twelve after all). Waay to many times have i read a high school fanfiction, and it was just a waste of my time and brain power and left me with the horrible after taste of pink, tweenagers and the overused word 'like'. Much like Hannah Montanna, Brittany Spears, and Paris Hilton. I will of course think of more to say only after i have left this to sit for a few hours.
Naruto and Hinata forever!(less than three!)