Hiya, new story up! It'll only be two chapters. That's all I have the attention span for.
Dedicated to bumblemark, because one NaruHina fic deserves another. Go read his stuff, it's great!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I want to. Go Kishi, GO! You're on a roll!
Hinata Hyuga, undignified in her journey, hurried down the busy streets of Tokyo, the ridiculously unhelpful time leering down at her from one of the digital billboards. Why today of all days, her car had to die, she'd never know. Why couldn't it have died yesterday, her one day off when she had to drive all over running errands?
And her heels weren't getting her to work any faster, nor were the books and files she was holding. She sighed irritably shaking her head, trying to move one of the stray hairs out of her eyes.
Rai Misano was not having a good day. He'd overslept and had missed his bus to University. That didn't bother him so much, he was planning on skipping anyway. He'd planned on heading into the city to get some shopping done, it was his six month anniversary with his girlfriend the following week. He headed into the city at a leisurely pace, only to stumble across a one in a million sight. One in 12 million if you wanted to be very specific.
Leaning against the back of the bus stop was his girlfriend…in the embrace of her 'ex' boyfriend. He'd rushed at them, pulling them apart and throwing a punch at the alleged ex.
And if the universe were mocking her, said ex rammed right into Hinata, sending her and her work sprawling to the ground. The testosterone and adrenaline was flowing through the young men though, and as a fistfight ensued, Hinata found herself confused in a flurry of voices, fists and footwork.
Then like a beacon from the merciful heavens, a loud whistle sounded, clearing a path and the two young men were pulled apart. "Keep it moving, it's too early to be dealing with brats like you. Work out your problems like adults!" Shouted a lazy, drawling voice.
Early? She was 25 minutes late for work, Hinata panicked.
"Are you okay miss?"
It was a different voice this time, the complete opposite to the first voice. This voice, though still distinctly, gorgeously male, was energetic and enthused, and so much warmer. A hand was thrust in her face and she accepted it immediately, looking up and losing herself in deep blue, sparkling eyes.
"I-I…thank-you v-very much." Was all she managed to stutter as she was hoisted to her feet and got a full look at her saviour.
He was tall, a good head and a half taller than her own petite self. And he was also blonde, sun-kissed tanned, athletically built and oh-so good-looking. She flushed, she'd never been confident around good-looking men. Not that any had ever spoken to her before.
And it should be illegal for a man to look that good in a police uniform. That thought ran through her mind unbidden causing her to blush deeper. Looking at the ground, she noticed that her papers and books were still scattered around. She gasped as she bent down to pick them up, again reminded of her tardiness. She scooped up the files first, lest they fly away and as she straightened up to adjust her hold on them, her books were produced before her clasped in large masculine hands.
"Here you go. You got it all?" He asked, working with her in sync to arrange the books in her arms.
"Y-Yes, thank-you again." She smiled shyly up at him.
"You have beautiful eyes." He said, stating it like a scientific fact.
Hinata's mouth dropped open slightly and she blushed again, almost losing a handle on her heavily laden arms. She had no idea what to do in this situation. What does a shy girl say to a gorgeous man that just flattered her? And he was still grinning at her, blue eyes boring into hers.
"Naruto, meeting back at the station! We're late!" Came the voice she'd heard first, obviously the blonde's partner.
Late! "A-Ah, I'm late!" She inclined her head in a bow. "Th-thank-you for your assistance officer."
She skirted skilfully around the smiling blonde policeman before continuing her hurried journey down the street, her thoughts still lingering on the man. Little did she know that his gaze followed her down the street for a moment, before turning to his partner with his normal, happy grin.
"You Shikamaru, could stand to be late once in a while. It's relaxing to bend the rules once in a while."
"Says the man who wants to be Police Commissioner someday." Shikamaru drawled as he hopped back in the police car.
Hinata was panting with exertion when she arrived at the National Museum where she worked. Had the operational director been visiting today, she would have likely been fired. As it was, she, the Head Curator was in charge, and all the volunteer guides liked her a lot and would not tell on her. They knew where their assignments were, it wasn't actually necessary for Hinata to hand them out, but she was one for punctuality and professionalism.
Passing groups of primary and secondary students, she regained her composure as she headed to her office to drop off the files and books. She sat down at her desk and flipped open a different file. They had a collection of new artefacts coming soon and she needed to make sure the paperwork was all done and the exhibit was ready at the museum.
All the while, her thoughts lingered on blue eyes, blonde hair and a dazzling smile.
The next week Naruto Uzumaki and Shikamaru Nara sat at their desks in the police station. Naruto fought off a yawn as he doodled at the corner of a page and Shikamaru was not even trying to conceal the fact that he was snoozing at his desk. It was the late shift. The only good thing about the late shift was that coffee was free from the café across the street. Other than that, it was boring, and some inconsiderate person decided millennia ago that it got dark at night.
Naruto hated the late shift. He preferred soft drink to coffee, he liked sleeping at night, he hated sitting around, and late night television was only surpassed in 'suckiness' by daytime television, in which case he'd either be sleeping or working and thus wouldn't have to be subjected to it. If only he had a case.
"Nara, Uzumaki, it's your lucky day-"
"Night." Shikamaru mumbled as he sat up and rubbed the sleep out of an eye.
His superior did not look amused. "There's been a break in at the National Museum, several artefacts have been stolen." He didn't hang around he wanted his coffee.
Naruto groaned. "The Museum, possibly the only place more boring than here."
"Naruto, there's a break in, stolen property and bad guys on the loose trying to hawk off said stolen property. Not to mention the security guard was probably injured when the criminals broke in."
Naruto and Shikamaru found the on duty security guard being attended to by paramedics. The man had a tennis ball sized lump on his forehead and wrist burns from being tied up.
"Are you the one who called it in?" Shikamaru asked.
The injured security guard nodded slightly, holding an icepack to his head. "I blacked out for a while, but when I came too I called for help." He nodded towards the phone that was still sprawled along the ground.
"What can you tell us about the artefacts that were taken?" Naruto asked.
"I don't even know what was taken."
Shikamaru flipped back a few pages in his notebook. "A suit of armour, a painting of a warlord, a scroll and a sword."
The man's face paled. "You mean the Hashi exhibit?"
Shikamaru consulted his notes then nodded. "Yes, that's the name."
The man groaned. "This is terrible, Hinata is going to be crushed." He looked at the two policemen imploringly. "You have to catch who did this. Never mind the fact that Hinata will be blaming herself for the fact that the exhibit was stolen and I was injured, but she single-handedly secured that exhibit for the museum. It was her personal favourite, she loves our national history."
"Who is this Hinata?" Naruto asked calmly.
"She's the Head Curator here at the museum. She's young but she's incredibly bright and good at what she does. And she's a sweet girl, she takes pride in the museum and has saved it from going under twice already in her two years here."
"Do you have her contact details? We're going to have to get a hold of her immediately." Naruto said, pen poised.
The security guard's eyes widened. "She couldn't have had anything to do with this! She is pathologically good, she's incapable of deceit!"
"She's not a suspect, but she has the most information on the exhibit. We need to know it's movements up until the time that it was stolen and she'll know." Shikamaru explained.
The man nodded and used his free hand to pat his chest before his hand slid into a pocket inside his unzipped jacket and he produced a business card. He handed it to Naruto who stepped away with a nod to his partner.
National Tokyo Museum
He dialled the number on the bottom of the card.
Hinata groaned as she rolled over in bed and her hand shuffled around her bedside table before her hand landed on her ringing phone. She opened her eyes briefly to look at the time, 1.23am, and answered her mobile, her head falling back onto her pillow.
"Hello?" She croaked.
"Hinata Hyuga?" Came a male voice much more awake than her own.
"I'm sorry to call you at such a god-awful time, but my name is Naruto Uzumaki and I'm with the Tokyo Police Department." Naruto, why did that name tickle at the back of her mind? "I'm sorry to inform you, but there's been a robbery at the museum and we need you to come down immediately."
Hinata's eyes instantly opened and she sat up with a gasp. "Is Sanji-san hurt?"
"The security guard? He had a knock to the head, but other than that he's fine. He's been singing your praises since we started talking to him. I'm sorry ma'am, but this is important, how long before you can be at the museum?"
Hinata was already out of bed and heading for her dresser. "I'll be there in half an hour."
She snapped her phone shut and dressed as quickly as possible.
Naruto snapped his phone shut as the line went dead and he moved back over to the security guard and his partner.
"Head curator on her way, she'll be here in half an hour." He smiled at the security guard. "She asked straight away how you were. Didn't even ask what was taken."
Sanji smiled. "Angel."
"I'm sorry ma'am but you can't go in, a crime has been committed." Said a police officer guarding the museum's entrance.
"My name is Hinata Hyuga, I'm the head curator here." She showed him her identification.
The policeman looked at her suspiciously, taking in her midnight blue hair pulled up in a hasty ponytail, and her white blouse and blue skirt that were slightly wrinkled. He reached for the radio on his shoulder.
"I have a woman out the front here called Hinata Hyuga."
There was a crackle and a short silence before a male voice came back through.
"Let her in."
Hinata passed the man and hurried into the museum, eyes instantly sweeping over the interior to see what was missing. Her low heels clicked on the floor but the echoed sound was lost in the chatter of policemen and forensics teams.
She turned her head and blushed, coming face to face with the blonde policeman from the week beforehand. His widened eyes suggested he remembered her too.
"Y-Yes, that's me. What happened, what was taken?"
He led her towards the scene, where Shikamaru would be waiting. "From what we can tell, the suspects knocked in a service door and took out the security guard before heading straight for the exhibit. It wasn't the first they passed, which suggests that they were after that particular exhibit." Shikamaru walked out of a doorway. "Shikamaru Nara, this is Hinata Hyuga, head curator. Hyuga-san, this is my partner."
Hinata bowed her head before looking between the two men, remembering the incident the week previous. "Wh-what was taken?"
The two men looked at each other before Shikamaru spoke. "The contents of the Hashi exhibit." Both men watched her reaction.
Hinata's form visibly slumped and her already tired eyes became sad. "Oh…m-may I see it?" She sounded defeated.
Naruto nodded and the two led her back through the doorway Shikamaru had walked out of. Hinata hurried ahead, well aware of where she was going. She slowed as she saw the police tape, the broken glass and the empty display case.
"The security guard said you were fond of this exhibit." Shikamaru said from behind her.
She nodded. "Hai, it was my first solo acquisition. It is an intriguing display of our culture from long ago." She turned around, her eyes shining. "What can I do t-to help?"
"We'd like to see all the records you have on the items, the blueprints of the museum and a list of the employees." Naruto said, his voice tender with sympathy.
She nodded. "R-Right this way." She led them the way to her office. "Is Sanji-san still here?"
"No, we let him go home. He just needs some food and a good sleep." Naruto said. "He'll be right as rain for his next shift."
Hinata nodded as she unlocked her door. She paused in the process and frowned. She stepped back and turned the doorknob, the door opening easily. Shikamaru and Naruto both drew their guns, Naruto pulling Hinata behind him as he and his partner stepped into the room. They switched the light on and swept the room.
"Clear." They said at the same time.
Hinata stepped passed them into her trashed office, her privacy and safety feeling violated. Books and papers were strewn across the room, her desk was knocked over and the room's two chairs tipped over. Her desk lamp, photos and filing cabinet were damaged and on the floor. She knelt down to pick up a cracked photo frame, only to have a hand on her shoulder stop her.
"We need to let forensics in here first. And we'll need to get your fingerprints to tell you apart from any others we find." Said Naruto.
She nodded as her eyes swept the room. "My c-computer is missing."
Both the males hissed under their breath as they left the room, Naruto leading Hinata out with a gentle hand on her back. Standing in the vaulted room, she suddenly felt cold so she wrapped her arms around herself.
"How about we get your fingerprints done, then we take this back to the station? We have coffee there."
Hinata nodded distractedly, allowing herself to be led towards the front of the museum. "I don't…I don't like coffee."
Naruto and Shikamaru both smiled at the statement. They were in the company of a like mind.
"Just take a seat here and we'll be right back with your tea." Naruto said warmly, pulling out the chair for her.
Naruto joined Shikamaru at the coffee station, where his lazy but brilliant friend was making a tea. Naruto smirked. Never tell a tired Nara he looks domestic. Without looking up from his task, Shikamaru spoke.
"What do you think?"
"I know we don't normally listen to the testimony of witnesses, but I think the security guard is right. She didn't have anything to do with the robbery. Look at her," Naruto looked back at Hinata who was sitting quietly, sadly and reflectively in her chair, shoulders hunched like she was cold. "She's too cute and sweet to be involved."
"Not that your personal preferences would assist in court, but I think you're right. She does seem too…innocent, incapable of wrong-doing. Besides, the Hyuga are an upstanding, prominent family. Last week Neji Hyuga won that drug case for the state. All four of the drug dealers we caught are now behind bars."
Naruto's eyes widened. "Hyuga, that Hyuga? Do you think they know each other?"
"They look similar, my guess-"
"And you're very good at guessing."
"My very good guess is that they are blood related."
Deftly discarding the teabag in the nearby bin, Shikamaru and Naruto headed back over to Hinata, as the Nara man placed the tea before her. The two males sat down at their chairs and looked at the quiet woman as she ran a slender finger around the rim of her cup.
"What can you tell us about you?" Naruto asked, his notepad poised at the ready.
"M-Me? There's nothing really to tell. I lived at home until t-two years ago when I finished my history degree at university. I w-was offered a job at the museum and I took it."
"Your address?" Naruto continued and wrote it done when she gave it. "Do you live alone? Roommate, boyfriend?"
"I live alone and I don't have a b-boyfriend. My work occupies a lot of my time, but when I can, I catch up with m-my friends."
"Do you enjoy your work?" Shikamaru asked after a few moments of silence.
She nodded her head vigorously. "V-Very much. History comes alive in our museum. I enjoy b-being able to help discover stories from the past and help to tell that story to others. And…and the Hashi exhibit was my first acquisition." Her hands came up to her mouth and she muffled a sob. "I-I'm sorry. I went through a lot to secure the exhibit. I am v-very proud of it."
Naruto leaned forward on his desk, reaching his hand across to pat hers. "Hey," He said softly. "We're going to do everything we can to get it back."
Shikamaru watched his partner's behaviour with interest. "That's right. But to do that Hyuga-san, we're going to need all the information on the exhibit."
Hinata nodded swallowing a sob. "It contains four artefacts from the mid-Edo era that once belonged to a samurai of the last name Hashi." Both men noticed that her confidence increased when speaking of something she was passionate about. "His armour, his sword, a painting of him during his prime and scroll that has yet to be examined."
"How do you know the scroll belongs to him if you haven't opened it?" Naruto asked.
"It has his signature and seal on the front. Truthfully, I cannot be 100 percent certain it's authentic until it's examined by professionals, but we're still waiting for permission."
"You need permission?" Shikamaru asked.
Hinata nodded. "Even if it turns out that the scroll didn't belong to Hashi, it is still an artefact from the Edo era and may contain great insight into the past. It takes careful consideration in whether to disturb something so old."
"Where did you acquire the pieces?"
"I obtained the armour from the descendants of Hashi who were happy for it to be on display and well preserved. The painting was seized in a police raid and I bought it at a police auction."
"We'll need to find that record." Shikamaru said to Naruto who nodded.
"I found the scroll in an antique bookshop and…the sword was in my father's possession. It used to sit in a display case in his office. For years no one knew from where or when it came from. I was doing an assignment for university years ago when I realised what it was. I," She smiled at the memory. "I passed the unit because it was apparently a national find, and it was the first time my father said he was proud of me."
Wait, I'm sorry, did you say your father hadn't told you he was proud of you till you were in university?" Naruto sounded affronted.
"Y-Yes. My younger sister Hanabi and my cousin Neji have always been his unashamed favourites. B-But I don't really mind, it means I can work to my own standards, without pressure from my father or my extended family."
"Hyuga-san, do you have any idea why someone would steal the exhibit, especially when the authenticity of one of the artefacts hasn't been determined?" Shikamaru asked.
Hinata bit her lip in concentration, which Naruto found extremely endearing. For one wild, unprofessional moment, he wanted to nibble at those lips. He mentally smacked himself. Not the time.
"Hashi himself had a lot of enemies right up until his dying day. Maybe someone believes there is incriminating or embarrassing evidence on the scroll that defames another samurai or lord from the time. Or maybe money, we've already been approached by several museums asking to buy it from us."
"Is it more valuable in pieces or as a whole?" Shikamaru asked.
"Together. It's not like car parts. Without the other pieces, it's just another painting, or another sword."
"They took your computer, is there anything on it that would help them?" Naruto asked, intrigued by her car parts analogy.
"I have background information and each piece's movements up until I acquired them."
"Which tends to lean towards the idea that they want the exhibit for more than money. Maybe there's something in the history…" Shikamaru pressed his fingers together in thoughtful meditation. "It's going to take forever for us to get access to your files now that they'll be in evidence. And with your computer gone…"
"I-um…I backed up all the information last night." She dug around in her purse. "I have all the Hashi data on this memory st-stick."
"That's fantastic! You're brilliant!" Naruto cheered. "May I?"
Hinata blushed at the compliment and handed the USB over to him, her fingers grazing his. Goosebumps rose up on her arm and she withdrew it quickly in case he saw. She scolded herself, now was not the time to get a crush.
Naruto connected the USB up to his computer and opened the files. "Do you mind if I print this all off? It'll be very useful in getting the content-"
"Context." Shikamaru corrected.
"The context of the stolen items."
Hinata nodded shyly, playing with her fingers in her lap. She suddenly jumped when her phone rang. She apologised as she fished her phone out of her purse, frowning at the number. Why would the director be calling her now? It was…3am in the morning.
"Director?" She answered the phone. "H-Have you already heard about the mu-museum?"
The raspy, and slightly slurred voice of the museum's director filtered through the phone. "Are you alone?"
"N-No. D-Director wha-"
"Aren't you a naughty girl?" Hinata's skin crawled. "How did you pleasure him? Did you gasp for him with that soft voice of yours?"
She grew cold all over her body at his words. "D-Director, have you h-heard about the m-museum?"
"No, you naughty little girl."
"Th-then why are you c-calling me at three in the m-morning?"
Her phone was wrenched out of her hand and she flushed deep as Naruto put the phone to his ear, a frown marring his normally happy features.
"-come to your voice."
Naruto's insides boiled with anger at the man's words. "Sir, this is Naruto Uzumaki of the Tokyo Police Department. Your comments alone warrant Hinata to file sexual harassment charges against you." He looked at Hinata who was shaking her head furiously, her expression horribly mortified. "In the meantime, I need you to come down to the central police station on different matters. There was a break in earlier tonight and we need to speak with you." His eyes widened and he smiled innocently. "Oh, the line went dead. He must have run out of battery."
Naruto looked at Hinata carefully as he handed her back her phone. "Has he done that before?"
Hinata shook her head, face flushed a deep red. "N-No he's n-never…n-no."
Shikamaru tilted his head to one side, his eyes enquiring. "But you never felt comfortable around him?"
She nodded her head minutely, looking down at her hands clasped in her lap.
Naruto pushed her tea forward. "Drink up, this is still going to take a while."
"Thank-you for all your help this morning Hinata." Naruto said kindly as he dropped her off back at the museum. "Can I have a look at your phone for a moment?" She handed it over without a second's thought. "I'm putting my number in. You're going to be hearing a lot of me until the case is over so I thought it'd be easier if you knew who was calling. Also," He was looking intently at the phone. "If you think of anything, you change your mind about filing charges against your pervert of a boss-"
"N-No I c-couldn't-"
"Or you just want to talk, don't hesitate to call me. 24/7, for anything, okay?"
"I-I…" She saw the seriousness in the gaze now directed at her, his eyes like dark storm clouds. "O-Okay, th-thank-you very m-much U-Uzumaki-san."
"Call me Naruto, we're almost partners and colleagues on this case. You know more about the Hashi exhibit than I do, you can call me by my name."
He grinned at her before he laughed. "I've already been calling you Hinata, I'm sorry."
"Th-that's okay N-Naruto-kun, you can c-call me Hinata."
"Are you going home now?"
"N-No, I have so much to do. With my computer being st-stolen, I have to get all the data I can from the sh-shared drive and I still have to get the employee list f-for you. If the f-forensics team is finished in my office, I'll see what I can d-do to reorganise it."
"Alright Hinata, but try to get some rest. Even Shikamaru and I get the afternoon off to get some shut-eye." Hinata nodded as she got out of the car. "Good luck with everything Hinata, we'll be in touch!" He called after her.
She waved goodbye to his shyly before heading into the museum. Naruto watched her through the window, admiring her figure as she all but sashayed into the building. Her hair was a mess, her clothes were ruffled and he knew she was tired, but he still thought her beautiful as he watched her go.
As he drove off he decided that her eyes weren't the only physically attractive attributes she had.
Review and then go onto the next chapter, tis already up.