Let's Back Up
Naruto continued to stomp his way down the hallway, determined to find this 'Seijirou' that was after his girl. He came to a halt when a pair of particularly cold eyes stopped him with an especially loud shout of, "HINATA HYUUGA!"
The clone realized that the angry yell was directed at him, he momentarily reminded himself that he was in the shape as Hinata Hyuuga as his fists came up briefly to touch the long dark hairs on his head. He grumbled inwardly and whipped around to see an angry looking man in his middle age storming up toward him. A maddening look on his face.
"What are you doing out of your room?"
"What's it to you?" snapped the clone, narrowing his eyes.
"Is that how you talk to your father!" Hiashi's voice rose and then saw a look of recognition cross this strangely bold version of his daughter.
"Ehhh? Father?" she looked him up and down, "When did you get so old?" she said in a not-so-hidden way, causing Hiashi to stare at his daughter as if she had sprouted another head. He heard footsteps of a panicked Hanabi and Neji coming to a screeching stop of their own as they just witnessed Hinata call her father old. The clone didn't seem to notice the shocked looks echoing around him, and if he did, outwardly ignored it as he pointed to a portion of the hall. "Where is this 'Seijirou' kid? I need to talk to him!"
"Hi-Hinata! You. Are. GROUNDED!"
"No I'm not. I'm a Shinobi of the leaf! What kind of Shinobi get's 'grounded' because her daddy tells her to? Are you out of your mind?" the clone made a point by drawing invisible crazy-circles around his head. "Now tell me where this Seijirou is! I need to have a talk with him!"
Hiashi made a move to grab her, but the clone finally decided to dash off. Neji and Hanabi ran after the clone who made quite the ruckus as he screeched for Seijirou to show his face while turning a sharp corner. Hiashi took note that Hanabi was squealing with laughter, and Neji was pleading for the two girls to stop.
Hiashi crossed his arms, and felt all of his earlier anger melt for a strange reason. A sentence that his daughter had said had really sunk into him.
"I'm a shinobi of the leaf!"
Hinata had said it with a pride she hadn't expressed since her mother was still alive. The little girl that he had grounded had, in a sudden turn of events, become daring and prideful. He realized she was being a lot more daring as of late, but to see that pride…that glow around her…it made him back peddle and wonder what made her act like a proper fighter. He was rooted on the spot, wondering what the hell happened to his daughter before finding his feet following the sound of rambunctious laughter and clatter down the hall.
It wasn't long for the Naruto clone to stop in front of a man that looked back at him with a look of shock. He just came out of his room, and stood in front of the Hinata clone in a way that only the real Seijirou would do.
"Y-yes, Hinata-sama?" he answered.
"Who do you think you are?" the Clone said in a shrill voice that didn't fit Hinata at all. Seijirou caught Hanabi in the background, pointing a finger and about to let out another squeal of that obnoxious laughter that alerted him to the yells of his name in the first place, but Neji helpfully slapped a hand over the young girl's mouth.
"I-I'm sorry?" Seijirou squinted his eyes and lifted a brow.
"Going after Hinata when she's already spoken for? You have some nerve!" snapped the clone that held Hinata's face. Seijirou continued to prolong his look of confusion before he activated his byakugan, but he was quickly slapped-hard-across the face before he could take a decent look at any chakra signatures.
Hanabi was now crying tears. Neji found this both confusing and disturbing.
"You PERV! Were you trying to look through Hinata's clothes? That's it-you're asking for it!" the clone shouted before lifted a tiny fist.
"You're not Hinata-sama!" Seijirou's own voice started to raise as two, dangerously activated byakugan eyes rested on the clone. He rubbed his reddening cheek and took a cautionary step backwards to raise two hands into the defensive Jyuken stance. "Who-"
"I'm…" the clone finally broke character, as a sudden cloud of smoke dissipates from the spot where one angry Hinata Hyuuga was standing in seconds ago, one could make out the form of a tall blond man standing in her place. "UZUMAKI NARUTO! And I'm Hinata's back up!"
"W-what?" Seijirou broke stance, but realized his mistake a second too late when the clone suddenly threw a mean uppercut, and threw the poor chuunin off balance completely. He tumbled down the hallway and regained his stance quickly just as the clone rushed up to close the distance between them. "Back-up? That's ridiculous! Then why are you so defensive-?"
"You are going after my girl! Of course I'm defensive!" The Naruto clone spat.
"I think you've got it backwards." Seijirou said, a pallor on his face. "Hinata is already going to marry me-she will have no need for a backup once we are official…"
"Are you stupid? I just said she's my backup. She's agreed to marry ME!" the clone shouted with all his might. It was actually loud enough to create some paper-lined doors to quiver.
Neji finally let go of Hanabi once her laughter was starting to seep through his fingers anyway. He rolled his eyes and rubbed her drool that he had accumulated over his clean pants, forgetting about hygiene, and simply hoping that this blow-up would calm down soon. He noticed a few other Hyuuga members were coming out of their respectable rooms to survey the strange battle.
"S-stupid?" Seijirou didn't take the insult well, as his cheeks turned a light pink. "You-you have no right coming into someone else's homes to announce that they're stupid! I… I should be calling you stupid, obviously you have no clue what a back-up spouse is! And…" he shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut, "I should be thoroughly concerned over this, why in the world is Hinata-sama agreeing to let someone like you to be her backup?"
"What?" Naruto put his hands defensively on his hips. "What do you mean 'someone like me' to be her backup?"
"Hinata-sama is kind, respectable, she's-gentle and quiet. A proper lady. You, on the other hand… you could easily be mistaken for a common punk! You two are the possibly the worst possible match for each other!" Seijirou said.
The clone bristled, he knew that if he was the original Naruto was in his shoes, he would have dove in and pummeled Seijirou senseless right there, but he had to be more careful. He was only one clone with a very tough mission. He needed to be active for at least a few more minutes. However, he realized that the real reason he was fighting himself not to pummel Seijirou in the ground, was because he too often felt like Hinata was too good to be true! She did seem too great…what if they were a bad match? What if he was dragging her to be his wife and…and in the end she'd want someone who's better behaved and bred form a better family?
He pursed his lips and dropped the fists that were up in the air in normal boxing position, ready to knock Seijirou even with the possibility of puffing out of existence. He decided to relax and finally open his mouth to Seijirou's remark.
"Hinata doesn't mind that…she…she likes me." Naruto said. "I know she does. We-we love each other."
Neji's jaw dropped, and Hanabi's laughter was stopped short as well. A few other Hyuuga who stopped to look upon this battle gasped, dramatically. It was this moment when Hiashi Hyuuga joined in with the rest of his clan to observe the fight, his jaw dropped once he was caught up with what was happening, which took little explanation from surrounding members. He gathered that the girl he had earlier thought was his daughter was actually a boy in disguise that was now proclaiming his love for his daughter in public to her entire family.
"Please." Seijirou sneered, "Hinata-sama is just too much of a coward to reject loquacious men like yourself. She can't defend herself against you-that much is certain! Why else would she agree to have you as a potential husband? That poor, poor girl." Seijirou made a noise that sounded like a scoffing laugh, only darkening Naruto's gaze on him.
"Hinata's an amazing woman. A stuck up prick shouldn't feel sorry for her-she and anybody else with more balls should feel sorry for YOU!" Naruto hollered back. He could faintly hear Hanabi squealing as if she found out her birthday presents were coming earlier that year. "You keep talking about Hinata in a negative way and I'll be making that kisser of yours useful by making it a punching bag."
Seijirou felt his face grow even hotter. "Are you challenging me for a fight?"
"Oh! So you DO understand! Maybe a fight with me will finally screw your head on straight. Make you realize you should keep your eyes off of Uzumaki Naruto's girl!"
"Ha!" Seijirou spat, "You've got it backwards. Hinata Hyuuga is my fiancé, and you-Uzumaki what's-it-are going to realize that a high-class woman such as Hinata would never truly agree to be your backup without knowing she is going to already marry someone like me beforehand! She must have just told you she'd be your backup to shut you up!"
"Y-you don't even know Hinata, do you? How could you agree to marry someone you don't even know?" Naruto felt himself laughing. "Hinata is not that kind of person! If she didn't want to be my backup, she wouldn't be my backup. But truth is-she IS! And you know what else? She says she wouldn't mind being my wife-we even have plans for having five kids! TOPS!" Naruto flung his head back and laughed haughtily. He then glared back at Seijirou, true spite in his eyes, "What kind of plans did YOU make with her? Oh, wait, let me guess, you don't have any because other people tried to plan your wedding? Wow, what's the fun in THAT?"
Seijirou's eyes widened.
"And what do you really know about Hinata aside from how she acts when she's around her family? I mean-she's not only kind and has good table manners, but she's one of the best kunoichi I know to depend on during tough situations! She's smart, and she's funny, and… YOU obviously don't appreciate her enough!"
On that note, Naruto flashed forward, and gave Seijirou a nice, but very brutal punch right on his kisser just like he promised. The experienced fighter, that was said to have been one of the better Jyuken fighters in the branch house fell like a ton of bricks, and passed out almost instantly-in only one major hit. A good portion of onlookers (main family, no doubt), that was silently observing Naruto and Seijirou's cat fight, started to go back into their rooms, uninterested once the person they were rooting for had been knocked out. But soon silence didn't have room for the situation at hand, and several caring members of the clan started jumping in to check Seijirou's pulse and to demand what the hell just happened.
"That…" Naruto whipped around to see Hanabi putting a hand on his forearm, "Was pretty…cool of you to say." Said the younger sibling with a little blush on her cheeks, "Hey, when…you get bored of big-sis, you know I'll make myself available for ya." She winked and Naruto gave her a look of confusion. Neji shoved his youngest cousin away and gave Naruto a rather curt handshake.
"It was nice knowing you, friend." Neji mumbled under his breath. With that, he dragged a now eye-fluttering Hanabi out of the way as Hiashi Hyuuga came stomping down the hallway, making a b-line toward Naruto.
"Uzumaki Naruto." hissed the clan head.
"Yikes." Naruto winced, as the wrinkled father came glowering down at him. "I'm in trouble."
"Where is my daughter?"
"Uhhh…." Naruto looked around, as if he could find helpful clues to form a lie around the blank walls of the Hyuuga estate. "She's… in her room."
"I have the Byakugan, you fool. I can see that she's not in her room!" snapped Hiashi, his voice was raising a dangerous volume.
"Damn, I forgot." Naruto hissed under his breath before he gaped at Hiashi's horrifying scolding look. His eyes looked like two cubes of ice, he felt a sudden mood make the remaining onlookers to scamper back into their rightful rooms. He wished suddenly that he wasn't getting in trouble, at least, not from the father of his backup who was sending him a look that definitely gave him the impression that this man probably wanted to kill him.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't harm you right now." Hiashi's eyes narrowed into icy slits.
"I have several good reasons why you shouldn't harm me." Naruto said very quickly, taking a rather smart move backwards. "One, I know the location of both Hinata Hyuuga and the real Uzumaki Naruto."
This made Hiashi re-open his eyes. This was the kid that successfully mastered the shadow clones technique. He was marveled! The clone fooled his advanced, Byakugan eyes! Amazing!
Hiashi then realized that the man in front of him must be the same man who managed to beat Neji in the chuunin exams. This was the same man that had, unintentionally, made the bonds between his nephew and himself stronger. But Hiashi continued making a stern face while the clone blabbed on about reasons two, three, four and finally five as to why Hiashi shouldn't lay a finger on him. Despite how silently impressed the clan head was, it did nothing to deter him from the fact that Naruto Uzumaki was still an intruder, and obviously the mastermind behind Hinata's disappearance.
"Enough." Hiashi interrupted before the clone could go on about more reasons why nobody should harm him. "What is this talk about you wanting to marry my daughter?"
"She's my backup." Naruto explained smoothly, as if that took care of all questions.
"I'm not familiar with that term." Hiashi said calmly and rather patiently as he folded his arms.
"Oh, it means when we're both ready to get married, that we'll get hitched with each other."
"So, technically, you asked for my daughter's hand in marriage and you didn't have the galls to talk to me about it." Hiashi raised his voice yet again, sending the few remaining onlookers scampering away. He saw Seijirou's mother dragging her son back into his room in his peripheral vision.
"Hey, it's Hinata's decision. Why do YOU have a say in who she falls in love with?" Naruto snorted, crossing his own arms. Then he gasps, "W-were YOU the one who ok'ed that puny runt to marry Hinata? That-Seijiro guy?" Naruto pointed his thumb toward the kid that was now sporting a split lip, and drooling down his chin.
Hiashi realized that in this guest's eyes, that yes-Seijirou did get knocked out quite easily. Hiashi himself wasn't happy with how the short battle played out. Especially once he found out that the victor was a clone.
"Seijirou is not-"
"Awwww! You ARE! You are the man behind that Seijirou guy! Did you hear him calling your daughter a coward? He would have been a total awful husband, what were you thinking?" Naruto snapped bitterly. "But, you're right. I should have come waaaay earlier to ask one-on-one if I can have Hinata's hand. So." Naruto clapped his hands together and made a quick gesture of a pleading man, "Can I?"
"Can you what?" Hiashi grit out.
"Can I have Hinata's hand in marriage?" the Naruto clone begged.
"You have some nerve…"
"Why thank you."
"No! No…that was not a compliment." Hiashi hissed, but uncrossed his arms and then bowed toward Naruto. "I leave my daughter into your hands. I… do not know what kind of power you have upon her, but I can see now-especially after that fight with the… 'puny runt' as you called him…that maybe fresh…outlook," Hiashi was just about to say 'blood' but realized how unrealistic that sounded, "is needed in our clan."
The clone didn't know what 'fresh outlook' meant, but smiled anyway as he bent down for a bow as well. When he straightened himself, Hiashi was still bowing, the clone looked confused.
"Your influence will do her some good…I'm realizing now that…Hinata has finally been acting like a prideful ninja…and I'm realizing that you may be behind it. I give you permission to take my daughter's hand…"
Finally a hand snatched up as quick as lightening, and took the clone's jacket in a vice-grip. Naruto was suddenly staring at cold, hard, Hyuuga eyes again.
"But if you dare think that this is an invitation to sully my daughter's name by leaving her, or impregnating her, I'll ensure that you won't be able to walk on those two haughty legs again, am I clear?"
"Oh, crystal." The clone nodded cheerfully.
"Now, where is my daughter?" Hiashi asked, slowly letting go of the clone's jacket.
"They're at Chouji's party. And yes, before you ask, we were invited." Informed the clone.
"Thank you, that will be all." Hiashi said, and raised a fist, but before Naruto could warn him not to-he bopped the clone over his head.
And thus, the most useful clone in Naruto's life poofed out of existence.
A/N: F-word, this fic is old.
To be continued.