Hot Water

"C'mon, Lee," Naruto said for what felt like the thousandth time. "It's really not a big deal. All you gotta do is hold Sara-chan for a bit while I go surprise Sakura-chan. It's okay, really! She's a really good baby--yup, Daddy's little girl is the best baby in the world, yes she is, and the cutest baby too, way cuter than any of those loser babies out there--"

"But Naruto, I do not feel comfortable being put in charge of your and Sakura-san's sole offspring!" Lee broke in, his gaze shifting desperately from Naruto's face to the top of the sleeping Sara's tousled head and back again. "I do not know anything about infants! What if she should become hungry or cry? Or what if...she should need a nappy change? I know nothing of the proper techniques for taking care of her! Please, believe me when I say I am not the right choice!"

Sheesh, Lee, you kicked six guys to death at once and you don't think you're qualified to take care of a kid? Naruto thought and groaned a little inwardly. Lee was acting like Sara-chan was dynamite or something, like she'd explode in his hands if he held her wrong and it was really kind of sad to see. Guys who weren't dads just didn't get it, Naruto decided and shook his head emphatically.

"Well, I've got all her supplies right here," he said, patting the oversized pink bag that hung from his shoulders. "Sakura-chan crams all sorts of stuff in here just in case we need it, so we're prepared for anything. Honest. And Sara-chan's not gonna get hungry, because Sakura-chan just fed her a little while ago before we left, and she always sleeps for a couple of hours after feeding...I don't know about poop though," he finished and grinned a little at the flicker of panic that passed over Lee's face. "Besides, what about Tenten? Shouldn't you be practicing? In a couple of months, man, this--" he swept the arm not holding Sara in a circle, indicating baby and baggage "-- is gonna be you."

His shot went home: Lee bit his lip. "Well...I-I suppose I do need the practice but I had planned to try everything out first on a teddy bear, or a baby doll. Something not...breakable."

If Lee didn't get over himself soon, Sakura would finish bathing and he'd lose his chance. "Here," Naruto said and pushed Sara at a stunned Lee; when Lee carefully accepted the baby, Naruto shrugged off the baby bag and draped the strap around his neck. "Sakura-chan's been all stressed and overworked from work and the baby: she needs something fun and I'm gonna give it to her. So just hold Sara until we come back, it'll be fine." He bent and pressed his lips very gently to the top of the baby's head: she stirred a little, but settled back to sleep again almost immediately, tiny mouth working at her pacifier.

"There are extra binkies in the top pocket if you need them," Naruto called over his shoulder as he sprinted away, trying to put as much distance between him and Lee as possible before Lee freaked out and came after him. "Don't worry, everything's gonna be okay--"

Naruto rounded the corner and vanished and Lee looked down at the baby's little round head, fighting down a most unmanly panic. "What is a binky?"

oooooo

Sakura-chan's gonna be so surprised, Naruto thought gleefully as he jogged along the corridors, keeping his eyes and ears open for anything Sakura-related. Most of the other bathers had left by now: the hot springs would be closing for the night pretty soon. Since its opening a few months before, it had become the place for tired and stressed Konoha residents to go for relaxation and the pools were usually packed full of ninja and civilians baking themselves silly. That was part of the reason he and Sakura had decided to come later: less people, less noise, less annoyances. It also made it the perfect time for him to surprise Sakura so he could help "relax" in a different way: he snickered. Naked Sakura-chan all alone...Sara-chan was the best thing in the world, but not having sex for months really, really sucked.

Of course, when they got there they'd ended up running into Lee (Gai was fortunately nowhere to be found), who was there soothing away some muscle aches acquired on his last mission and Naruto had also spotted what looked like Neji Hyuuga's back passing through one of the doorways to the pools. God, I really, really hope that Neji's not here, 'cause the LAST THING I need is his dumb all-seeing Byakugan spying on me and Sakura trying to have fun, he thought. No one gets to perv over Sakura-chan but me!...well, maybe Sasuke-bastard too, but he's never around, so...me. No one pervs over Sakura-chan but me. Take that, Neji.

He was passing one of the pools that had already closed down for the night when he heard an odd noise, kind of like a stifled gasp. Curious, he stopped and the noise came again, coupled with a sound like water lapping against the side of a pool.

Sakura-chan couldn't...Nah, but weird noises coming from a closed pool...I should check it out. Gotta make sure it's not enemy nin or something: Sara-chan's too young to be in a big fight.

Naruto put a hand to the door and very gently eased it open, then stepped inside. There was a privacy wall running along one side, blocking the view of the pools from the door; he crept down to the end, hands ready to make Kage Bunshin seals if necessary, then came to a dead stop when he saw the source of the noise.

Two people were lying on the ground by the pool, both wearing very loosely-tied indigo yukata: the smaller one had its legs wrapped around the larger and its thighs gleamed white under the pool lamps. Hair black as ink spilled down on the tiles as the two of them tumbled around.

It took Naruto's brain a second to process that the two people were Kabuto Yakushi-Hyuuga and Hinata Hyuuga and they were having very quiet (but very enthusiastic) sex.

Hinata clutched Kabuto's shoulders so tightly she ripped his yukata and buried her face against his neck: Kabuto shuddered, made a kind of cough-gasp and slumped on top of her. Neither moved for a minute: then Kabuto raised his head and they kissed like they were trying to steal each other's tongues.

"Hey," Naruto blurted before he could stop himself, "you guys had the same idea I did!"

Both heads snapped up and three pairs of eyes locked: blue, lavender-white and grey covered by really dorky glasses. Hinata made a funny little squeaking sound, lost her grip on Kabuto's shoulders and fell back: her husband seemed to be trying to speak, but no sound came out.

Unfortunately for Hinata, when she let go of Kabuto, she'd forgotten that her yukata was no longer tied and providing coverage in front.

Naruto's eyes widened until they hurt and even then he thought they might not be large enough to take all of Hinata in. Wow, I never...Wow, she really...Hinata has really big and nice...I mean, REALLY big and nice...

Hinata's face went purple, then white, then settled on a kind of lavender shade as she clamped herself back onto Kabuto so tightly it looked like she was trying to disappear inside him.

"Naruto-kun!" Kabuto snarled: his voice sounded like he was speaking through a mouthful of gravel. "Naruto-kun, get out! Out! Shoo! Shoo!" His voice broke completely on the last word and he waved a hand at Naruto as if the gesture alone could shove him out: the other hand held Hinata to him. "Damnit, get lost already, Naruto!"

"Okay, okay, I'm leaving, but I still think that it's funny you guys thought the same thing as me," he said, starting to back away: no point in staying if Sakura-chan wasn't here and all the interesting parts of Hinata had disappeared. "Who woulda thought--haha-- we'd all come up with the same idea together like this? Right guys? Right...uhhh, Hinata, are Kabuto's eyes supposed to be glowing like that...?"

"OUT!"

oooooo

They rang the bells for the fifteen-minute warning before closing as Naruto left the Hyuuga behind: no point in surprising Sakura-chan now. He sighed and slapped his hands down on his thighs. Maybe Sara-chan will be a really good baby and sleep all night tonight. But Sakura-chan's not going to want to do anything but sleep if she does.

"Naruto!"

He looked up. Sakura was standing in the lobby holding Sara, who was now awake and absently gumming a piece of her mother's hair: Lee was nowhere to be seen. "Where were you? I got back here to find you gone and poor Lee-kun holding Sara-chan and looking like he was about to die." She shifted Sara and glanced at a wet patch on the floor, gated by "Caution: Wet Floor" signs that Naruto was pretty certain hadn't been there earlier. "You should have seen him, Naruto: I had no idea someone could sweat that much outside of a combat situation. When he saw me, he gabbled out something about you asking him to hold the baby, practically lobbed Sara at me and took off. I don't know if that was just some weird Lee thing or--"

"Probably a weird Lee thing," he said, stepping close so he could kiss her cheek. Little messy strands of hair were falling out of her bun and the folds of her red yukata clung here and there on her body as if she was still damp underneath. She smelled of heat and mineral salts. Sara started grunting and squeaking and squirming in her mother's arms, clearly out for attention: Naruto kissed her too and ruffled her red-gold hair up so she looked kind of like a baby lion. Or Kakashi-sensei if her hair was grey instead of red...

"Come on, let's go," Sakura said and yawned, breaking his thoughts: she leaned against him and Naruto tucked an arm around her and the baby. "Sara needs to be in bed and so do I. Not everyone's lucky enough to have crazy fox stamina." She looked up at him, smiling tiredly.

"Hey, Sakura-chan?" he asked as they left. "Do you think the reason that Hinata's breasts are so much bigger than yours is because she's had a lot more kids than you?"

"Where the hell do you come up with this stuff?"

oooooo

Naruto had been gone for almost ten minutes and Hinata was still curled in a fetal position, mumbling words so low he could barely hear her. This, Kabuto decided, was concerning.

For lack of anything better to do he proceeded through their usual after-sex routine, hoping the ritual would have a calming effect on her: he washed first Hinata, then himself with water cupped in his hands from the hot spring, straightened their rumpled clothing, smoothed down tangled hair. Being mildly obsessive-compulsive had its benefits, he admitted to himself as he kissed her once more and gently coaxed Hinata to a standing position: she swayed and stared off into the distance, as if he wasn't there. He sighed. Troublesome. Very troublesome.

He was just straightening out the cloth strips that covered the curse seal on his forehead when the door to the pool banged open and Neji Hyuuga stepped inside, radiating his usual corona of stern disapproval. "They're closing now. Where have you two been--no, don't answer that," he said, scowling, as Kabuto opened his mouth helpfully. "Why does Hinata look like that?"

Kabuto was about to answer: "Like what?" when Hinata blinked suddenly, opened her mouth, then shot past him and buried her face in Neji's chest.

"Oh, Neji-niisan!" she wailed, voice muffled against Neji's skin: her hands clutched his sides. "Naruto-kun saw me naked!"

Over the years, Kabuto had had many gentle discussions with Hinata as to why Hinata still felt the need to refer to a man she had married and borne children to as "big brother"; the answer seemed to be a combination of "force of habit" and that it really, really turned both Neji and Hinata on in some deeply wrong way. However, he was not one to pass judgment on his sweet wife, nor was he one to speak on what qualified as "deeply wrong", so he let it slide after a while. Hinata had mostly tapered off, though she had a habit of reverting in times of stress: clearly, the encounter with Naruto had unhinged her. He scowled.

Neji tentatively patted Hinata's head and visibly swallowed: Hinata's yukata must have come undone again (he had left the knots a little loose in front...). Despite years of marriage, two children and a personality that could put frost on the boiling sands of Wind Country when he felt uppity, Neji was still very weak to Hinata's bare skin, leading to many delightful incidents where Kabuto would start casually undressing Hinata at opportune moments and then counting the seconds until he saw Neji twitch.

"Well," Neji began, then coughed and started again, stroking her hair. "I'm sure...that Naruto-kun doesn't think any less of you for it, Hinata."

Hinata muttered something. Her fingers were starting to move in a familiar, but long-disused gesture: Neji exchanged a glance of incredulous horror with him. "Hinata..."

She was doing it, she was. She was twiddling her fingers again! She hadn't done that since before Hinako was born! Oh, this was very bad.

"You know, I never thought it would happen," Hinata said to Neji's chest, her voice soft but clear. "But, I d-don't mind him seeing me n-naked. Because, I-I...always dreamed...o-of doing..."

"Doing what?" Neji asked, clearly blind to the danger of the situation. "Hinata?"

Somehow Kabuto knew that he did not want to hear the rest of Hinata's sentence. He put a hand on her back, rubbed soothing circles. "Hinata-chan, please, think of your husbands and children. You put Naruto-kun aside long ago, remember? He has a wife and a darling child of his own. You do remember, don't you? Don't you?"

"Doing things," Hinata finished, and blushed heavily. There was a slight, dreamy smile on her face.

Neji and Kabuto looked at each other again. This was a Hinata that hadn't been seen in years, decades even: twelve year old Hinata was unfolding again before their eyes.

"Things?" Neji finally asked in a quiet voice, eyebrow raised.

Why are you encouraging her, Kabuto mouthed to Neji over Hinata's head: Neji scowled at him.

She turned even redder. "You know! T-things. Things. Those...things. With Naruto-kun."

"My god, is this the same woman who tied me up and fucked me with a strap-on?" Kabuto muttered. It was a long, desperate shot...

Neji turned purple.

oooooo

"Kabuto-san," Hinata said after a long silence; he winced internally at the -san, but kept his face pleasant and neutral. "I thought we agreed not to bring up things like that in front of Neji-niisan."

"We did, Hinata-chan," he murmured contritely.

"I think perhaps you should sleep on the spare futon tonight," Hinata said, still not lifting her head from Neji's chest. "Because you broke our promise."

He bowed his head, supplicant. "Yes, my lady."

Another little silence followed, broken here and there by Neji's furious breathing, then Hinata finally stepped away from Neji and tugged at his hand. "Let's return home now, it's closing time. We don't want to hold the workers up," she said, starting for the door.

Neji recovered speech long enough to hiss: "Do! Not! Ever! Say! Such Perverted Things About Lady Hinata! In Public! Again!" at him and stalked off after her.

A little while later they were outside under the moon, soft dirt under their sandaled feet. Hinata drifted in front of them, still wearing her vague smile and twiddling her fingers while Kabuto and Neji followed dutifully behind.

"I'd advise not sleeping with her for a few days, until this mood passes," Kabuto murmured to Neji as the Hyuuga compound came into sight before them. "Otherwise we'll end up as stand-ins for Naruto-kun. And that's just sad."

"Would you just shut up?"

"Two nights on the futon, Kabuto-san," Hinata called from before him and Kabuto groaned, then grinned when no one was looking.

As if he'd let Naruto-kun take precedence over him in Hinata's mind. Really.