Like the Back of My Hand

By Vi

A/N: I just cut my bangs by myself and I look AWFUL. I've been wearing hats out all day today—and decided that I'm not going to go out for a while. So, I wrote this fanfic. It's totally spontaneous, and I literally wrote it an hour ago. It's that fresh. Grammar mistakes are bound to be present, I realize. If you have a problem with it, maybe you should be my beta--email me~!

Summary: Hinata knows Naruto like the back of her hand, so she's surprised and secretly smug when he challenges her to a game of 'who knows who best'. NarutoXHinata


Hinata smells like kikyou.

It's very faint, but definitely present in the air once you step into her personal bubble. Clean, relaxed, very mature…kikyou flowers. Since she wrapped herself in large garbs of clothes, and even liked to put her hood up around me these days, I could barely get the scent, but if I prod her enough and stay by her side enough the smell starts to intrude my nostrils.

It's not like Ino's perfume that will alert any trained ninja of her presence from literally—a mile away. It's not like Sakura-chan's perfume that gets mixed up with the smell of rubber gloves and sanitary equipment. It's not like Ten ten who just smells like unnamed detergent.

I didn't notice it at first. She first just smelled nice. Nice—meaning, if you were lucky enough to get knocked out around her, and she let you borrow her lap as a pillow, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise. She's very pretty up close, and she's also very clean. Her smell literally calms you down, and you forget that a brute knocked you out in the first place. I think her smell makes one feel lucky.

That's why, a few months back, I was caught in the grocery store sniffing soap bars. None of them smelled like Hinata. I wondered into a more expensive soap store—and none of them carried the remarkable scent either. I didn't know why I wanted to smell it so badly. Maybe because whenever I went near her—she'd shrivel up like a flower at night. She'd hide her scent from me by propping up her hood and making a lame excuse to leave. Maybe if I just had something like soap, I can buy some for her—and start some conversation. She would compliment me that I have a nose just like her teammate Kiba, and would take the soaps graciously before using it every day.

My plans and retarded scenarios never worked, because after a month of looking over the rebuilding village, I still have no clue where Hinata was able to smell neat. It's beyond that though. To be truthful, it's pretty agonizing trying to find excuses to talk to her, and being hooked on just one plan was a stupid idea.

Hinata loves cinnamon rolls.

She doesn't eat too much of 'em, I guess she does seem to care about her figure. I notice that she treats her delicacies as if she's being shot for a cinnamon roll commercial. Slow and rich, she rips pieces of the sticky bread and sticks the tip of her treat on her lip before taking a dainty bite and chewing small pieces. She savors every bite before cutely smiling at how lovely it tastes, and going back for more.

So I go for buying cinnamon rolls the next month. Going to bakeries and buying every single cinnamon roll they baked that day. The plan would be to casually offer one to everyone that I meet, and then when I meet Hinata—give her one too. Then she won't suspect that I was stalking her ever since the whole Pain attack was settled and over with. However, my timing was horrible, every time I went out to buy every single cinnamon roll in Konoha, a hungry crowd of kids would follow me everywhere and hound me out till all the rolls were gone.

Ah, but then I realized something…

Hinata loves kids.

I saw her bending over crying children and helping them up. She asks if the child was all right, and bends down to wipe dirt from their clothes. She must have given them one heck of a smile, for the child ceased it's tears, and smiled back at her. She pats their head, gets up and walks on—the child, and me, watch after her and would sigh dramatically.

It shouldn't have been too hard to amaze Hinata with MY amazing skills to be able to make kids smile. I'm great with kids.

So the plan was to let Sakura drag me and Sai to see Kurenai sensei's new baby. Hinata would be there looking after the baby too, and I can make magic happen by making the baby laugh for it's first time, or stop it's crying with a soft lullaby with my awesome voice. My plans do not work out too well, because once I get there, Kurenai-sensei tells me that Hinata was off buying cinnamon rolls for other kids that day. UGH! All my energy to amaze a child went down the drain, I picked up the new kid in my arms—and it only peed on me in response. I decided it was probably a good thing that my plans didn't work this time around.

That's ok, Hinata likes tons of things.

Hinata likes pressing flowers, she likes training, she likes writing poetry in a thick-ass scroll, she likes hanging out with her teammates, she likes cooking, she likes grocery shopping on Wednesdays, she likes dogs…

She doesn't like lying, she plays the koto with ease, she knows more kanji than Shikamaru, she can make the grumpiest street shoppers nod in greeting…

She plays with her fingers when she's nervous, she plays with her hair when she's upset, she plays with the hem of her shirt when she feels embarrassed, and she bites a corner of her bottom lip when getting scolded at.

Her black hair is down to her mid back. She has really long eyelashes even for a girl. She probably never had a boyfriend since Kiba and Shino is so protective of her. She has a natural pink tone to her cheeks. She never wears lipstick but her lips are getting gradually darker as the weather gets colder. She also has the smallest feet out of all the girls, with really torn up sandals…

Ah, there we go.

Sandals.

I'm going to buy her sandals.

I peak into my wallet and notice that for the first time in weeks, that I hadn't visited the bank to refill poor Gama-chan. I groan outwardly and mouth toward the sky "WHYYY!?"

Right when the perfect idea hits me. Damn it! Why didn't I just head toward the bank earlier? Now I'm stuck in the middle of the street, with an empty purse and Hinata's probably halfway down to the pond because it's Tuesday and it would be awkward to hand it to her later on in the day when she'd be with Kurenai-sensei so—

"Naruto-kun?"

I scream, whirl around, and there she is.

She blinks back, alarmed and utterly terrified. Retreating from my crazed form by huddling closer into her jacket. Her eyes, with her long eyelashes extending to her raised eyebrows, makes her look, I blush, kinda cute. I have to admit, she's not bad lookin'—it's just… she's got to show her face more. At least she didn't cover her face from me today.

"Naruto-kun… are you… ok?" she finally asks after I could only gape like a fish at her.

"Y-Yeah! I'm great, how…are you?"

"I'm doing well, thank you." She says in a single breath, her eyes quickly going to her shoes. I look at them too, and my shoulders visibly slump. "Are you sure you're doing well? I couldn't help but… see you looking at Gama-chan."

I look down at my purse and my eyes looked back at her, shocked. "You know Gama-chan's name?"

"You have shown me the purse before." Hinata said softly, her voice literally seemed like it was being pushed back into her—as if the voice wanted to hide from me as well. "Are you… in trouble? I can lend you a few ryo if you need it."

"AH! Nonononono, Hinata, no, I'm… I just remembered I have to go to the bank today and I just don't want to go!"

"O-Oh." Hinata said softly, and nodded. "Th- the bank is finally moved to it's better, safer location again. Do you need directions there?"

"Hey, thanks." I smiled genuinely back at her, and her cheeks flush a dark red. I take a bold step toward her, and felt my cheeks warming up as my arm touched with hers. Her head turns toward me, then toward our touching shoulders, then snaps back toward the road. The movement of her head causes a strand of hair to flick my cheek. A waft of kikyou scent, enters my nose and I can't help but lean in closer to her.

She points a finger down the road.

"The bank is toward the great hole." Hinata informs. The great hole meaning the hole that Pain made when he blew up old Konoha. New Konohoa rebuilt a part of itself inside the disaster-zone, and the rest was spilling out into the unharmed forests, we were now working on re-building our protective gates. Maybe this time it'll actually keep the badies out. "—then you take a right, and on the west side, it's next to the grand pine tree."

"I—I'm sorry." I stutter out stupidly, I wasn't paying attention—like normal when people gave me directions. "Can you…?"

"Of course," she says softly, she didn't seem annoyed as she repeated the instructions. "You just go down this road, and when you're at the slope toward the downside of the great hole, you take a left and then you walk on the outer ridges of the upper-west side of new Konoha, and then when you see the new shopping district lining up near the Sakura-trees you take a right. On the west side, the Bank is there—it's next to the grand pine tree."

I look at her. She really was a cutie, I gulp, feeling myself fidget. I wonder if I look nice today too.

"Ah! Thanks." I quickly ramble, when I felt her eyes slowly sliding toward me for my reaction. I pat my hands together. "I was gonna get lost for sure, thanks for telling me the way."

"I-it was nice seeing you, N-Naruto-kun." Hinata stuttered out, offering a nervous smile. I look down at her, and suddenly felt my heart hammering in my chest. It felt like the time I was fighting and in the brink of death, it was hammering so loud, I was embarrassed and scared that Hinata could hear it too. But she only offers a stiff quirk of a smile, and turns around to leave.

"WAAAAIT!" I don't know what on earth made me want to YELL at her, even though she was only two steps away. She jumped at my command and whirled around, eyeing me with her hand over her heart. "HINATA!"

"Y-y-yes?" she stuttered back.

"Are you—do you… can you…?" I ran out of things to say. Why was it… that I can talk and talk and talk for hours on end with people I happen to meet on the street that very day, but it was so hard to ignite a decent conversation with the one person I REALLY want to talk to? Is that weird? Is this normal? Do I have some sort of weird tongue-tied disease?

"Can I…?" Hinata prodded me on.

"Let's play a game—no, let's make a bet." I quickly said, running off with an idea at the top of my head. Suddenly, my heart seemed to drop in my stomach, and I realized it might not be a good idea. But before my mouth could realize that this next plan would DEFINITELY not work, it opened. "I bet you I can tell you everything there is to know, about Hinata Hyuuga."

Hinata looked at me strangely, but slowly and surely, she started to cross her arms and positioned her legs into a locked state—she wasn't going anywhere. Despite utter imminent disaster that was SURE to come, at least part of my ridiculous plan worked.

"What do you mean?" she said softly.

"Ask me—anything! If I answer it right… you…have to do something I say."

"That hardly seems fair." She frowned.

"All right—then I'll ask you something about me. If you get it right, um—you get a point."

"What about you?" she was still frowning, and her arms were now fully tightened around each other. This talk of a bet obviously was making her uncomfortable. I wracked my brains for better ideas.

"Ok, change of plans. We'll ask each other about each other—the one who answers the most right—wins! And the winner gets to… gets the looser to do whatever they want for 'im! K?"

She looked down, obviously contemplating my offer and the game. She was smart, so she was obviously thinking that it was a complete waste of time. I could almost taste the failure that was going to come, she was going to refuse, and forever brandish me with the memory that I suddenly fling bets at girls to make them do a dare. I realize how STUPID I sound, and feel like running away. It takes all my will power to stay—GOD, why was she taking forever to answer? Just say 'no' already, I know you want to!!

"Ok." Hinata looks up and nods.

"Ok?" I gape at her, and I swallow. Huh? Why…was this plan working? My spontaneous plan to get the girl I've been spying over for months to talk with me—works. I'm both over-joyed at my sudden burst of genius, and confused… "OK! Let's get started. Ladies first. Ask me anything about yourself."

Hinata put a small finger to the tiny valley under her plump bottom lip and thought for a second. She looked up, a glint in her eye, "What is my blood type?"

Ah, almost too easy. "A." I inform her with a grin.

Her eyes widen a fraction of a bit before she closes a gaped mouth and nods.

A silence follows, and I realize it's my turn.

"RIGHT!" I shout, pumping a fist in the air and smirking, "What's my bloodtype?"

"It's B positive." She says smoothly, barely flinching.

It was my turn to gape and awe at her. Huh? How did she know that? I swear not even Sakura-chan knew!

Before I had the time to ask her how she found out, she opened her mouth again.

"What's my favorite tea flavor?"

"Green tea." I shrug, that was almost too easy. "What's mine?" I grin.

"You don't have a favorite tea, but if you had to choose—you'd go for Mugi-cha (Barley tea)."

I… can't believe it… I was now wondering if the Hyuuga could read minds, because I swear that was what I was thinking! I swear it!

"What's my mother's name?" she asks.

"Osono." I said, grimly—I had to find that one out through some old folks who knew the Hyuuga family. I hear that Hinata's mom was quite the sweetheart, which made sense…it was a tragedy that Hinata lost her when she was five.

Hinata was impressed, but calculative because she stared at me as if she didn't believe her mother's name left my lips.

"Do you know my mom's name?" I then stopped and threw up my hands. "Ok, ok, that's a toughy—that doesn't count…"

"It's Kushina Uzumaki. Of Uzu." Hinata answered smoothly.

"Ok." I snap quickly, "How in the WORLD did you find that out?"

Hinata smiles. "How did you find out about my mother?"

"I spoke to people."

"Huh, what makes you think I haven't spoken to people?"

"Are you a gossip, Hinata?"

"I don't know, am I?" she asked with a hinting smile. I was about to answer—and realized that this was a question, and part of our game.

"No. You aren't. You don't even listen when girls are gossiping around you."

"Hm, now that's weird. How did you find that information out?" she said lightly, in an observing tone. I shake her question away and decide to make her answer a real tough question.

"What's my SHOE size?"

Hinata looked down at my feet, "A men's ten." She quickly looked up and smiles, "Where do I go to get my hair cut?"

"You do it yourself." I answer, I saw her trimming her bangs last month in the forest. "What's a book that I co-wrote with Jiraiya?"

"Icha-Icha fantasy." Hinata blushed a bit, but fought it off because she quickly interrupted, "What's my favorite weapon?"

"You like slim swords the best." I knew. She pursed her lips, obviously wondering why I knew. "What's the only kind of noodles I don't like?"

"You don't really like men-tsuyu soba." Hinata announces. Right again. Damn, she was either really good at observing… or…hey wait a second.

Was she spying on me too?

"What's my least favorite food?" she asks.

"Easy. Squid, which I really don't understand Hinata—they're delicious."

She giggles, and I feel my cheeks burn and my heart start to sing.

"Um, sorry—have you been keeping track of the points?" I realize I had already forgotten.

"We're at a tie right now. And I think I've gotten nine points." She recalls. "That would mean you did too, I think you answered one extra question."

"HA! So that means I win?"

"No, ask me a question. The next question either of us gets wrong—is the looser." She says, with a small shrug.

"Fine…um… I know, what's my hobby—outside of being awesome." I adjust my collar and straighten my back, making Hinata giggle some more.

"You have—um, well, had a small garden you tended to."

"You have been spying on me, Hinata!" I finally accuse, "nobody knows that!"

"You've been spying on me too," Hinata said right back, "I've caught you ten times the past few months." This accusation makes me blanch out and feel really, really dumb, "How much have you been following me?" she was frowning—obviously she didn't like my extra attention.

"W-well, not that much, I just—hey,hey,hey, I wanna know how much you know about me! Out with it! How long have you been spying on me?"

"I don't think it's part of the game to ask questions about me, Naruto-kun." Hinata only looked back at him, dead on, with no distinguishable expression on her face. "That would be cheating."

I narrow my gaze at her, "I still know more about you than you think you know about me, Hinata."

"I doubt that." She smiles softly. "What is my nindo?"

"You never give up." I say, "Same as mine." I saw that her facial expression grew exasperated—that means I'm right. "What is the name of the biggest frog I can summon?"

"Um…" she actually had to think over this one, "Gamabunta-sama?"

"DAMN, I mean—shucks, you knew.

It went on for almost a quarter of an hour, until finally…

"Who is the first person who ever told me that they loved me?" I ask. We were both serious now—asking complicated questions of both our past and the minute details and habits that we were conscious of. We knew everything about each other—Hinata even knew that my first kiss was with Sasuke, and that I usually have a midnight snack of milk and corn chips.

"Your mother, obviously."

"No, that doesn't count—I don't remember it." I said.

"Well that's the answer." Hinata said defiantly.

"Let me re-phrase, who was the first person who ever told me that they loved me—that I can remember?"

"Naruto, that isn't fair. I didn't know you when you were a child. I wasn't giving you quizzes of what happened to me before the Academy."

"It wasn't before the Academy."

"Huh?" Hinata was stumped, even though the answer was so easy—and right there in front of her. I knew—I knew that she wouldn't get this one. I started to softly smile as the girl in front of me pondered while stroking her bottom lip.

"You have to answer in five seconds!" I give her a time limit, and her eyes shoot up toward me in shock. "Five!"

"That's not fair, Naruto-kun!"

"Four!"

"Um…"

"Three…"

"Wait, wait… I'm guessing…"

"Two…"

"Uh…"

"One."

"IRUKA-SENSEI!" Hinata quickly blurts out and I smirk at her good guess.

"Nope." I grin.

Hinata's shoulders slump just as I throw my hands up in the air for victory. "HAHA!!!"

"Oh dear." Hinata frowned with a pout. "I thought I would win."

"You were really good, Hinata." I said eyeing her with newfound respect. "I had no idea you knew so much about me. So you did spy on me, huh?"

"Only when I was younger." Said the pouting heiress. "I don't do it anymore."

"Younger?" I asked, "What—you mean during the Academy? While I was an annoying prankster?"

"You were never annoying." Hinata said defiantly, taking offense to my own comment about myself. "You were…so full of it, it was fun watching you. I didn't realize I was spying till we had to write the definition down in class in fourth grade…"

"You were spying on me before fourth grade?" I gaped at her. "Woooow, how dumb was I? I mean—I thought I was a good ninja, but if you were able to spy on me back then and I never knew till now…wow, that's crazy."

"Not really, you were in your own little world back then. You had no time to notice a weird girl like me." Hinata said softly, finally uncrossing her arms and turning away. She really did look put out that she didn't win—I wouldn't blame her. She just admitted she was studying me for ages. It's like getting a pop quiz on your best subject and finding out someone else was better than you.

"because…I love Naruto-kun"

Her words echoed in my subconscious for so long, and I never really connected that it could be possible that she—Hinata Hyuuga could actually love me. After all, I barely knew her, but it turned out that she knew me like the back of her hand. She really did love me—and not just for being the best new spankin' ninja to come back to Konoha…she loved me way before I was a ninja, she loved me while I was a looser too.

I was happy, I couldn't help it—I was happier than I was when I took the time to relax and realize what Hinata said to me during battle. I was happier than the time I got my Konohagakure Hitai-ate (forehead protector), I was happier than I was when I came back to Konoha. I was loved, and loved for all of me.

She really did answer all my questions, and I guess it was unfair to spring that upon her, she couldn't spy on me twenty-four-seven…and she obviously didn't realize that the answer was so obvious.

"Hinata, it was unfair of me to use that question on you. Let's start over." I said softly, feeling a little guilty that I was making her feel bad. She was slowly walking away form me—so I had to reach out and grab a hold of her bulky jacket to make her stop.

"No, you won fair and square." She said with a sigh.

"Fine, well then don't walk away from me. Don't you remember the bet? I get to ask you to do something for me."

Hinata whirled around, "Now?" she asked. I met her eye, and felt my heart swoop. Those were the eyes that looked upon me since we were kids—those were the eyes that saw me as equals even after she knew my secret. Those were really special eyes of hers.

"I'd like it to be now. Whether you like it or not, you have to do it." I said, my hands were feeling sweaty again.

"That's not a nice way to put it, Naruto-kun."

"Well it's not nice to spy on a fourth-grader."

"It's not nice to spy on a sixteen year old girl. Especially if you're a guy." Hinata said with a lot more height in her voice, but it only made me grin.

"It was you."

"Huh?" Hinata frowned, looking me up and down—wondering why I was switching the subject around back and forth. She looked thoroughly annoyed.

"You were the one who told me that you loved me—" I hold up one finger, "First time I heard anybody say that to me."

"Y—you're kidding." Hinata said, obviously feeling uncomfortable as she looked away and blushed a magnificent pink. "I…I don't believe that."

"It's true." I said softly. "Nobody ever said that to me… I mean, I know people love me, but—you were the first one to say it. I…I've been wanting to thank you for that for…a while now. But I didn't know how—that's why I've been spying on you. I promise I didn't spy on you while you were bathing or anything."

Hinata turned even redder and shook her head. "You don't have to thank me."

"Well—I wanted to talk to you, at least. But you kept finding excuses to go away. You never stayed and talked."

"I-I've been busy…"

"No you haven't! I've been spying on you, remember? You've been helping the town, sure—but you've also played the Koto, went to get cinnamon rolls for kids, went out with Shino and Kiba, I mean—didn't you want to talk to me?"

"O-of course I did, but not about this." Hinata said, and pulled herself from my loose grip. "I… I didn't want to be cornered like this. I knew it was coming but…" she turned away from me, showing me her back with her long black hair and sighing, "I didn't… want to tell you how I felt. I meant to die that day."

"H-Hinata." I stutter out, I felt kinda hurt that she would even admit that to me. It meant so much that she told me her secret—to my foe and to me that day, to think that she was confessing before she died gave me a bad feeling.

"You love Sakura-chan…so I knew you would have to tell me that…you were thankful for my feelings and nothing more. But you don't understand that I don't want to hear that. I just want it to be left unsaid—I don't want to be rejected by the only person…I've ever…" she sniffed, and my heart panged in my chest as if an arrow ran through it. I heard the pitch in her voice change, and I could almost smell the salty tears that were on her face, mingling with the scent of kikyou.

"Hinata…" I reach out and grab her arm, but she pulls away form me. "Hinata, listen. I'm not going to say that. Please listen…."

She sniffed again, and when she let out a ragged breath, I heard the definite choke of a cry, and I quickly decided to wrap my arms around her before she could pull away even more.

"Hinata… I just wanted to tell you, that—I love you too." I sputtered out, feeling her resist under my hold. "I don't love Sakura-chan like that, not like how I like you or how you like me—she's like my little sister. Like Hanabi."

"You don't have to pretend to be nice to me—"

"I don't pretend!" I say, offended, "Uzumaki Naruto doesn't pretend. Uzumaki Naruto gets what he wants, and Hinata—I'm asking you to be my girlfriend!"

Hinata gasps.

"And you kinda have to do it because that's the bet."


End.