Hyugas, Hot Springs, and Hinata-chan
Hanabi Hyuga had been raised since birth to act with poise, grace, and dignity. However there was just something about Naruto Uzumaki that made her want to become very, very violent. It wasn't that she disliked the blonde. On the contrary, she was actually a little grateful to him. Ever since he'd defeated Neji, her cousin had actually started acting more like a cousin and less like a certain revenge obsessed Uchiha. The fact that he'd also stopped blathering on about 'unchangeable fate this' and 'immutable destiny that' was simply a bonus. Although if he'd started going on about the 'power of youth' she probably would have joined some of the more bloodthirsty members of the clan in calling for Uzumaki's head on a pike.
No, if she was honest with herself, her problem with Naruto stemmed entirely from his inability to grasp the completely obvious. How the hyperactive fool had managed to miss her sister's feelings for him boggled the mind. Despite all the blushes, the fainting spells, the packed lunches, and even the invitations to dinner with the clan, the fool actually thought that Hinata didn't want to be anything more than just friends. The only reasonable explanation she could think of was that the ignorant twit still thought of Hinata as 'one of the boys' and hadn't actually gotten around to seeing her as a woman. However, that was a problem that Hanabi could easily fix, but not because she hated seeing her sister cry. No, Hinata's tears had no effect on her. None. Zero. Zip. She was only doing it because she had nothing better to do. Yeah. Sure.
With her mind made up, it was simply a matter of finding the blonde in question, not a difficult task given the capabilities of the byakugan. Still, she couldn't help but feel a fresh surge of murderous intent when she realised where he was: on a tree… overlooking the hot springs… the female side of the hot springs. Eye twitching with barely suppressed rage, she stalked over to his hiding place.
"Naruto," she growled. "What do you think you're doing?"
He at least had the decency to look ashamed, as well he should. However it was then that he made his first mistake. Instead of throwing himself at her feet in a posture of absolute humility and contrition in a bid to ward off her righteous feminine anger, he instead opted to flash her what she presumed was supposed to be a winning smile.
"Hey, Hanabi, fancy meeting you here."
Her gaze, piercing even without the byakugan, took on laser-like intensity. "Yes, Naruto, what a happy coincidence. Out of the tree. Now."
"But why?" Naruto whined, looking not at all dissimilar from a kicked puppy.
"Because you're peeping and because I'll kill you if you don't."
"But I'm not peeping," he replied before proceeding to make mistake number two. "Besides, Hanabi, you couldn't kill me, not on your best day."
Hanabi took a deep breath, reminding herself that this was the man Hinata loved. Killing him would be a bad thing, although maybe it would be okay to cripple him. "I'm going to ask you again, Naruto, why are you in that tree?"
"Well it's like this, Kiba and I kind of made a bet."
"A bet?" Already Hanabi could feel a headache forming. "What kind of bet?"
"He bet that I couldn't sneak into the women's side of the hot springs without using any jutsu and not get caught. I figured it was probably a good idea to do some reconnaissance, you know, learn the layout of the women's side and all that." Naruto caught her glare. "Hey, I get a month of free ramen if I win, how could I say no to that?"
Hanabi was about to reply when she caught sight of what looked to be a familiar person entering the women's side of the hot springs. A quick activation of her byakugan confirmed what she suspected: Hinata was now in the hot springs. Hmmm… interesting.
Putting on her best smile, she motioned for Naruto to get out of the tree. "Look, Naruto how would you like some help?"
He frowned and shot her a suspicious look. "Why would you help me?"
Okay, so maybe he wasn't a complete idiot. "Um… because I like ramen too and if you win you have to uh… promise to split the ramen with me fifty-fifty."
Naruto grinned and jumped out of the tree. "I never knew you liked ramen so much Hanabi, maybe you're not so bad after all."
"Well ramen is the greatest thing in the world," Hanabi said, wondering how on earth she'd actually managed to say that without throwing up. "Now come on, look over there." She pointed past Naruto to part of the wall that ran around the hot springs.
"Look at what?" Naruto asked, turning around to study the wall more intently. "I don't see anything, what's the deal?"
Hanabi nearly fell over. Had he really fallen for what had to be the oldest trick in the book? Not one to question her luck, she took advantage of his lack of attention to hit him with a kick that would have done Sakura proud. A kick, she noted with no small amount of satisfaction, which sent him over the wall and into the hot springs.
X X X X
Contrary to common belief, Naruto could be thoughtful when the situation called for it. Flying through the air, he had ample time to contemplate just how much trouble he was in. If he were lucky there would only be civilians in the hot springs. Sure, they'd pelt him with buckets and bars of soap, but he'd been hit with worse. On the other hand, if there were kunoichi present, he'd have kunai, shuriken, jutsu and who knows what else to contend with. And if Sakura were there – he shivered – he might not make it out at all. Any other thoughts he might have had on the subject of vengeful women were lost as he hit the water with a tremendous splash.
"Grargh!" he spluttered as he flailed about in an attempt to clamber out of the water and onto one of the many rocks that dotted the hot springs. Then he froze. His hand was touching something and it was definitely not a rock. It was a lot softer than a rock. Crap… almost afraid of what he would see, he turned his head to look at what he was touching.
He was touching someone's chest and not just anyone's chest either. He had his hand on Hinata's chest. On. Her. Chest. He was so dead. But at least he'd die happy, after all it was a very nice chest. Wait… did he just put the words 'nice', 'chest', and 'Hinata' all in the same sentence? Crap. Unable to stop himself, and knowing that he was probably a dead man anyway and well if he was going to die, well he might as well make the most of things, he let his eyes wander over Hinata's barely covered form.
She was wearing little more than a towel that only just managed to preserve her modesty but did nothing to conceal how fine her figure had become. There was a faint sheen of moisture on her skin and an adorable blush on her face.
"Umm… Naruto… why are you on the women's side?"
Even her voice was cute, Naruto thought dumbly before his mouth, again, ran away with him. "You've really filled out, Hinata."
"Filled out?" Hinata repeated before the meaning of his words sank in and the light blush she had went into overdrive. "Filled out?" Naruto had finally, finally, finally noticed her. She needed to tell him how she felt. "Naruto…" she murmured as her eyes began to glaze. "I… I… I…"
"Hinata!" Naruto dove forward to catch her as she fainted. "Hinata!"
The other occupants of the hot springs had so far been too shocked to say or do anything, but his sudden shout combined with the fact that he was now cradling an unconscious and barely clad young woman in his arms finally spurred them into action. Violet action.
"Hinata," Naruto said, placing one hand on the lavender eyed woman's forehead as he tried desperately to keep her head above water without putting his other hand anywhere inappropriate. "Hinata, wake up!"
"Pervert!" Someone shouted.
"He's molesting that girl!"
Naruto twitched. "Hey, I'm not molesting anybody…" His voice trailed off as he took in the various buckets, bars of soap, kunai, shuriken, and even a stool that the women were preparing to throw. "Hey… hey… this isn't what it looks like…"
"Then what is it?" one of the women shouted.
"Well it's like this-" Naruto's explanation was cut off as someone else burst into the hot springs.
"Hinata!" Neji shouted. "I heard someone shout your name, are you…"
"Are you with him?" one of the women said as she pointed at Naruto.
"No… no… I… just… I thought… Hinata was… in trouble so I…"
Under different circumstance, Naruto would have found the image of the Hyuga prodigy cowering before a woman brandishing a bucket hilarious but somehow he got the feeling that laughing would be entirely the wrong thing to do. Instead he slowly began inching away from the crowd of angry women. What he had not counted on was Hinata regaining consciousness.
"Naruto…" Hinata murmured, shaking her head. "What… what's going on?"
"Hinata!" Neji's eyes were instantly drawn to Naruto and his cousin. "What are you doing to Hinata, Naruto?"
"Uh… nothing." Naruto felt a shiver run down his spine despite the heat of the water as Neji took one step forward and activated his byakugan. He needed to get out of here and fast, but how… he grinned as an idea popped into his mind. Neji would probably kill him, but from the look he was getting that was something the Hyuga genius planned to do anyway. "It was him!" Naruto shouted as he pointed at Neji. "It was all his idea! He just wanted to sneak in and peep on all of you!"
"What?" Neji squawked. "How dare you accuse me of such a thing!" He managed to take two steps towards Naruto before he went down in a hail of projectiles.
"Ouch." Naruto winced as a stool clattered off Neji's head. Now all he had to do was make his escape…
"Don't think we've forgotten about you!"
Naruto flinched as half of the women broke off from the assault on Neji and turned towards him. "Crap!" He got all of five steps away before a well-aimed bucket knocked him down. By the time he'd managed to regain his bearings he was completely surrounded.
"You're going to pay for peeping on us you pervert."
"Ummm…" He was so dead. Or was he? There was one card left to play. Drawing himself up to his full height he struck his most regal pose. "You can't kill me, after all I'm going to be Hoka-"
X X X X
Several hours and much bludgeoning later…
Hanabi stopped dead in her tracks. That was Neji's voice. Slowly, she turned. "Yes, Neji, is something the matter?" she asked as she somehow managed to keep a straight face despite all the cuts, bruises, and bandages that her cousin sported. "You seem… unwell."
"Unwell?" Neji's repeated in disbelief. "Unwell? I almost died."
"Oh." Hanabi was careful to school her features into the perfect picture of innocence. "What happened?"
Neji glowered. "I think you know exactly what happened, or have you forgotten just how far my byakugan can see? You were laughing the whole time, Hanabi, laughing so hard that you could barely stand."
Well… damn. "You have to admit though, Neji, that it was kind of funny." Hanabi took a slow step back. "I mean… it was all Naruto's fault."
"Leave that idiot out of this. I've already," Neji paused as he searched for the right word. "Dealt with him. But he had some interesting things to say, Hanabi, something about you kicking him into the hot spring."
"I may have," Hanabi replied.
"I see." Neji's voice was far too calm as he activated his byakugan and settled into a fighting stance. "Hanabi Hyuga prepare to meet your fate!"
X X X X
First of all, I neither own Naruto, nor am I making a dime off of this.
So yeah… this just popped into my head. I've always thought it was a shame that they never really expanded on Hanabi's character in the manga, because there's definitely a lot of potential there. That said, you can think of this as a companion piece to my other story "Paperwork , Tardiness, and Hokage-sama", because honestly, Naruto is so dense sometimes that he needs his own separate story. Besides, Hinata could use a break.
As always, I appreciate your feedback.