A/N: Hey everyone! This story was actually the first chapter at my (failed) attempt to write a Naruto Christmas fanfic which had one-shots of my favorite Naruto's couples set to different holiday/Christmas themes, (this one obviously being 'hot chocolate'). But this was my first NaruHina one-shot and I decided to save it because I kind of liked this one and just post it individually. So, just expect romance, Christmas-y-fluff, and semi-humor.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto because it is rightfully owned by Masashi Kishimoto; nor am I making a profit off of this fanfic, which is rightfully owned by me.
"Naruto, you idiot! Isn't it obvious? It's because Hinata is madly in love with you, that's why!"
The fox demon Jinchuuriki was lying down on his bed, his hands tucked behind his head, staring at his ceiling as Ino's words rang loud and clear in his mind. He truly was an idiot—he couldn't deny it. The signs had been so obvious, and all this time he had misread them. It took Ino's shouting words to finally get through his thick skull. Hinata was in love with him. That would explain so much! He had never slowed down long enough to pay attention to those things, but Hinata was always there, always the one who didn't insult him the way others would when he screwed up, always the one who believed in him and stuck by his side, always the one worrying too much about him.
And now he was alone, after having turned down Hinata's offer to spend Christmas together, thinking he still had a chance to win Sakura over, when it was quite obvious she still had feelings for Sasuke, and that his time away from Konoha caused him to reciprocate those feelings.
Naruto sighed, frustrated, and got up. He pulled out his winter coat from the hallway closet, tossed his keys into his pocket, and headed out.
He needed to clear his head, to get things straight with himself, before doing anything else. But he would plan to confront Hinata, if not today, then tomorrow, or once his true feelings decide to make themselves known. Did he love Hinata? Of course. He always had. But up until that day, he thought his love towards Hinata was one of a dear friend or a sister. Now, he wasn't so sure.
It was snowing rather heavily outside, and everything was powdered in white snowflakes.
His stomach growled, and then he realized that he had spent so much time just lying on his bed, thinking, that he hadn't had dinner yet.
He planned to just duck into the nearest available café, not wanting to walk all the way to his favorite restaurant (which would probably be closed anyway) in the snow. Besides, he just wanted some food in his stomach so he could get past his hunger to focus on the matter at hand.
As he was absently walking, an image of Hinata drifted slowly into his mind until her face was all he could see.
His first impression of Hinata—weird.
She was quiet, would always stuttered, would blush and look away whenever their eyes would meet, and didn't do much; or at least she didn't do anything that grabbed his attention. Only now, he knew all about her crush. It explained his first impression of her a little more. Then he could remember the Chuunin Exams; the first time he paid any special attention to her. She had put up a good, determined fight. Surprisingly, he saw some aspects of himself in her. She never gave up, no longer allowed Neji or her clan to frighten her into submission the way he refused to let anyone criticize him, and made her voice heard—gave herself a name.
And he couldn't help but wonder, looking into her eyes, what had happened to the Hinata he knew throughout his childhood?
In that moment, she had changed. There was a new spark in her eye. For once, hope was on her face. She didn't look like the same Hinata, though obviously she didn't actually change in appearance.
And it was this "new Hinata" he started to pay more and more attention to.
If he were to compare the Hinata then to the Hinata now, Naruto wondered, how many differences could he point out? She still blushed with sudden attention, still fidgeted with embarrassment or anxiety, was still pretty soft spoken… but then again, that was probably who she was. She would be quiet by nature, gentle and nurturing, too; ironic since this wasn't how she was raised in the Hyuuga family. But she had more confidence, shined a little more each day. She was raised to be able to take care of all the domestic things he never dreamt of doing, such as cooking and cleaning, and yet she still had a rigorous training schedule. She would make a great kunoichi someday, maybe even a wife and a mom—
Naruto shook his head. He was getting sidetracked.
But, back to the differences:
The difference between the old Hinata and the new Hinata were so obvious that even a blind man could see them. And they weren't just physical appearances either; the long hair, the more developed figure (Naruto blushed slightly from behind his orange scarf at this), the height change… that kind of stuff changed all the time.
The Hinata then was easily intimidated, very shy, weaker in ability, had no respect for herself. She never put much of her effort into training or into missions because she already believed she was a lost cause, unable to be helped. She felt herself unworthy of anything and everything good that had happened to her. She didn't feel like she was a person worth wasting their time on, so she didn't seem to care what happened to her.
But the Hinata now felt like a completely different Hinata. The way she carried herself was more confident. People who would see her walking down the street would obviously see a classy woman who held a certain amount of respect for herself to not let people walk all over her. And that was the case. It was because Hinata now felt she was worthy enough to be taken care of; she now had the confidence and self-esteem to do the job. She smiled a lot more, laughed a little louder, stood up for herself and her friends and family when she felt she needed to, and allowed herself to feel happy.
A sudden crash snapped him from his thoughts, and he looked around. At first, he was caught off guard. The snow had piled up everywhere now, thickening on the road and roofs. He was ankle-deep in snow; he'd wondered how he'd be able to still walk while he was so distracted.
Then he looked to his side, and recognized the house he was now in front of.
It was Hinata's house.
Ever since Neji and Hinata had reached 17, Neji being 18 already, Tsunade felt it would be good for them to live outside the Hyuuga household, and the two seemed to comply without hesitation, though Hinata felt bad about leaving Hanabi by herself. He couldn't blame them for wanting to leave—after being surrounded by that bunch for 17 years he'd want to be able to get the hell out of there as soon as possible.
He'd only ever been to her house a handful of times, and those were because he needed to get Kurenai or Sakura, who just happened to be there at the time.
Instantly, he went into a panic. Had that crash come from inside her house? Was she hurt somehow? Was she in trouble?
It all happened too quickly, before he could register anything else he was already on her front steps knocking on the door. It took her a minute or two to answer, but when she finally did, a rush of heat overcame him, and he felt the need to look away. She was only in a gray tank-top and blue flannel pajama pants.
She blinked in surprise. "Naruto-kun…" she said in her soft voice. Then she noticed the flush newly formed on the shinobi's face, looked down at her attire, and blushed as well, looking away. "Why are you here?" she asked.
"I, um…" he stuttered. He cleared his throat and gulped. "I thought I heard a crash from in here, and I just wanted to make sure everything was okay."
"Oh," she squeaked, her voice raising an octave or two, reddening just a little more.
He seemed to have gotten his voice back. "Is everything okay?" he asked calmly.
"Yes, I just—"
"Hinata! Who's out there? You're letting all the heat out!" a voice he recognized as her younger sister Hanabi's called from inside the house.
Oh, Naruto mentally thought. I guess that heat I felt was from inside the house… Wait, what is her sister doing here?
"I'm sorry about Hanabi," Hinata apologized. "Um…" Her blush deepened and she looked away. "Would you like to… come in? Hanabi will get mad if I let the door stay open any longer, and besides I don't think it's very safe of you to be out in the snow like that and—"
"I'd love to," he interrupted, smiling reassuringly at her.
She smiled a small smile back and stepped aside to let him in.
"Oh," Hanabi said unenthusiastically as Naruto spotted her sitting on the armchair in the living room, "it's you." Hanabi, too, was only dressed in light blue sweatpants and a tank top as she sat on the armchair with a book open in her lap. She was almost glaring at him as if he interrupted her quiet time.
"Hanabi," Hinata warned as she shut the door.
Hanabi rolled her eyes but softened her hard tone. "What're you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing," Naruto said.
"This is my sister's house," she stated in a matter-of-factly tone of voice, a smug smile on her face. "I think I'm allowed to visit my sister on Christmas Eve. Besides," she added with a sigh, "I'm trying to avoid the family as much as possible until Christmas dinner tomorrow." She rolled her eyes again, this time not directing it towards Naruto, and made a face at something in her thoughts.
"Holidays in our family haven't exactly been our most favorite times," Hinata explained as she looked at her sister sympathetically. "Hanabi is here as often as possible. She's not old enough yet to move out on her own, and with Neji-nii-san and I not being around the house anymore…"
She trailed off.
"Ah," was all Naruto could say, and he couldn't help but feel just a little bad for Hanabi. Then he turned to Hinata. "What was that crash I heard earlier?"
"Oh, it was the cups," she explained as she led him to the other side living room and into the kitchen, where the shattered remains of a few teacups and spilt milk were scattered in the middle of the floor. "The power went out for a hot second as I was reaching for them and they slipped from my hands." She looked embarrassed, as if her being a chuunin meant she couldn't be a little clumsy. "Sorry to alarm you."
"No, its okay," he reassured, flashing his signature grin that made her heart skin a beat every time. "Just glad you weren't hurt."
She blushed. "U-Um, Naruto-kun… if you don't mind me asking, but what were you—"
She was cut off by the sound of Naruto's stomach growling.
Now it was his turn to blush.
"Oh, I was going to go grab a bite to eat," he suddenly remembered, grinning sheepishly as one hand flew to his stomach.
Her eyes widened in concern, which Naruto couldn't help but notice was very cute. "Out in this weather?"
"Yeah, well," he began, trying not to get distracted at her overwhelmingly distracting face, "there's really nothing to eat in my apartment so I was gonna go out and see what was still open." He shrugged, scratching the back of his neck nervously for a few seconds.
"Why don't you eat here?" she offered. "You can help yourself to anything in the fridge—it's all leftovers from the Hyuuga's Christmas Eve dinner, anyway—and I'll go warm some more milk and clean up the mess."
"Are… you sure?" he asked hesitantly.
"Of course," she replied, and instantly she went into action, her embarrassment completely disappeared. She pulled every saran-wrapped plate and Tupper-ware out of the fridge that she could find, laying it out across the counter for his easy access. She grabbed a plate from the cupboard overhead, utensils from the drawer, and a clean glass from the dishwasher.
"Hinata, all this food isn't really necessary," Naruto reassured.
She shook her head. "Eat as much as you want, Naruto-kun," she insisted. "Hanabi and I won't be able to finish so many leftovers, and we're bound to end up with more after tomorrow's dinner, so help yourself."
She beamed at him, and then went to put some more milk in the kettle and to put the kettle onto the stove to warm.
Naruto found himself smiling as he watched her practically dance across the floor, her movements so swift and gracefully as she easily maneuvered herself around the kitchen to find the things she needed. Once his food was warmed up, he sat himself in the dining room adjacent to the kitchen and living room. Hinata appeared shortly after, having already cleaned up the shards and dried the floor, and put everything back into the fridge.
"Hanabi," she called from the kitchen, "are you still hungry? Did you want some cookies or cinnamon buns with your hot chocolate?"
"Cinnamon buns, please," Hanabi called from the living room, never looking up from her book.
"Hot chocolate?" Naruto asked once Hinata appeared in the dining room and sat herself down at the table.
"That's what I was heating the milk for," she explained. "I always make some during the holidays. It was my mother's recipe, and everyone still enjoys having it at dinner." She smiled, and then looked over to Hanabi. "Our parents have been trying a lot harder to put more effort into the smaller things for Hanabi's sake. Hanabi loves the family, although she will never admit to it, but she still hasn't fully forgiven our parents or the family for the way we were treated when we were younger, so I let her stay here when she feels the need to get away."
"Wow," Naruto said, studying Hinata. She blushed under his gaze and looked away. "You really know people."
Hinata shrugged, still blushing. "I know Hanabi because she's my sister," she corrected. "But others…"
Naruto shook his head. "You really revolve yourself around others," he said. "You always seem like you know what to do when it comes to other people."
"I-I, um… really, Naruto-kun?" she stuttered.
He nodded, flashing his signature grin once more. He returned to eating his food again, and Hinata got up to make the hot chocolate. The house felt quiet once more, aside from the soft noises Hinata made coming from the kitchen. Naruto sat, full and satisfied. The warmth of Hinata's household made him entirely forget the fact it was snowing hard outside and, sitting underneath the flow of the chandelier, smiling as he watched Hinata with her won smile spread across her face, he thought to himself,
I could get used to this.
Once Hanabi was finally full and tired after three cinnamon buns and two mugs of hot chocolate, she wished her sister goodnight, threw a strange look at Naruto, and disappeared into the guest bedroom where Hinata explained she usually sleeps whenever she spends the night. The cinnamon buns and hot chocolate were no longer piping hot, but still warm and toasty, and Naruto savored each bite and sip of the cinnamon-y and chocolate-y flavor until he, too, was too stuffed to take much more. They sat at the dining room table in a strangely comfortable silence, the only sounds coming from the guest bedroom until Hanabi shut the door then flicked off the lights.
"Oh my," Hinata said when she got up and peered outside the window. "The snow really picked up." Naruto appeared at her side, looking out the window as well. It was hard to tell beyond the frosted glass, but he was pretty sure the snow had piled up higher. Hinata frowned. "How are you supposed to get home in this weather?"
Naruto, on the other hand, was grinning. "What, you're not trying to get rid of me, are you, Hinata?" he teased.
Hinata's eyes widened. "N-N-No… of course not, Naruto-kun, I was just—" she began to shriek.
He laughed and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "Relax," he reassured. "I was only kidding."
Hinata pouted. "Jeez, Naruto-kun, don't do that to me," she said, blushing. Naruto blinked in confusion. "I-It would be awful for me if you really were mad…"
It was then that something hit Naruto. Hinata was only inches away from him, blushing and looking absolutely adorable with her slight-pout, her lips right there. She was the same Hinata who had loved him since their days in the academy, her patient love enduring all—their separation, his blind affections towards Sakura, and the criticism of others. And it was then he realized that he had begun to fall for her, too, little by little, since the day he saw her change right before his eyes, watching her from the balcony overhead as she fought her cousin in the preliminaries.
The hidden affection had accumulated into what was now pure, reciprocated love for the majestic, mysterious beauty before him.
Hinata looked up from under his intense stare, sensing a strange emotion behind his cerulean eyes, and had begun to say, "Naruto-kun, wha—"
But Naruto didn't allow her to finish her sentence.
He fastened his lips onto hers, pressing her back gently against the window, his hands securely around her waist.
At first, he panicked. She hadn't reacted yet, and maybe, he thought, just maybe he was too late. Maybe Hinata had decided on a change of heart.
He was about to pull back when her slender arms wrapped around his neck, locking in place, forcing him lower so that the kiss deepened. Their bodies intertwined as his arms snaked around her waist and her legs wrapped around his. The kiss was surprising—sweet and spicy, hot and cold, gentle and passionate. Just like their personalities mirrored each other's so perfectly—if he was the bright sun, she was the moon that followed; if he was an intense fire, she was the water that kept him at bay.
When they parted for needed air, they panted slightly. Hinata's face was flushed, but she had a breathtakingly beautiful smile gracing her features. "N-Naruto-kun…" Oh, how he loved the sound of his name coming from her voice.
"Sorry it took me so long to catch on," he whispered.
She shook her head, her fingers laces through his wild, golden hair, locked in place. "Shhh," she whispered back. "We have thirteen years of catching up to do." He chuckled, their lips meeting again.
He couldn't help but noticed how hers tasted of cinnamon and hot chocolate.
A/N: Ugh. I had such a hard time trying to keep Hinata and Naruto in character because I haven't written with them very much before this. But I hope NaruHina supporters enjoyed this anyway. I'm just trying to improve my writing, especially with characters I don't usually write about, so your critique would be wonderful!