Disclaimer: The characters of Naruto belong to Kishimoto Masashi. This story is written without permission, for fan purposes only. Do not reproduce without permission.
Summary: Hinata begins to wonder if she is the right person for Naruto
Chapter One - The Beginning
The sun rose slowly over the eastern side of the mountain, its rays barely cresting the top signaling a new autumn day. As the sun raised higher the mountain's shadow pulled back revealing The Village Hidden in the Leaves, Konohagakure no Sato. The village had a large tower which dominated the center and it in turn was surrounded by smaller buildings which radiated outward in a circle. As the circle spread further out the smaller buildings seemed to be surrounded by small homes and then larger homes. These homes, surrounded by land in gated areas, were the clan estates. If one were to look further pass the estates they would see the 30 foot wall that encircled the village and then merge with the mountain at each end. This wall had three openings appropriately called The North, The South and The West Gates. Looking even further one would see a giant forest spanning hundreds of square miles with very few roads passing through it and thus giving the village it name.
As the morning light reached the Hyuuga Clan estates it filled the room of one Hyuuga Hinata, kunoichi of Konoha and possible clan heiress. Though a lot of people react to the new morning sun with groans and resignation to the day, Hinata smiled brightly as light filled her eyes. Hinata was happy not because she was an avid early riser but because, after having her eyes bandaged for a month, she has cherished every day she has been able to see clearly. A few small blood vessels had ruptured in her eyes during her battle with the Rock Nin five months ago and though the damage would have been minimal to anyone else, the Hyuuga Clan depended greatly on their eyesight for their survival. After being released by Tsunade into the care of the Hyuuga physicians, Hinata had gone through private therapy using special eye drops to ensure the health of her Byakugan two weeks longer than Tsunade had predicted. After the bandages were removed she had to wear special sunglasses while activating her Byakugan for a few minutes at a time. Slowly the time spans were increased and as her eye strength improved she was allowed to remove the glasses and resume her normal training.
Even though Hinata was glad she didn't lose the ability to use her family's doujutsu what she really missed was the colors of the flowers in the family garden. The various hues of blues, purples, whites and yellows floating above a sea of green leaves was always something she loved to see but hadn't truly appreciated until she couldn't see them again. She also missed looking into the sky with white clouds slowly moving across the deep blue background. But the blue of the sky was nothing compared to the shade of blue in the eyes of her boyfriend, Uzumaki Naruto.
"Her boyfriend" she thought, oh how she loved the sound of those words used in the same sentence with the word 'Naruto-kun'.
She hadn't seen him the first month after he officially declared his love for her because of her bandages. She had only been able to be in his company a few times when Neji would take her for walks outside the estate walls. Once the bandages were removed she was placed on limited duty as a ninja for the next month which gave her more time to hang around the village and as a result be with Naruto.
The first week Hinata was out of her bandages found Naruto quite nervous. He was about to go on his first date with Hinata and he didn't know what to do. Oh sure, he had asked Sakura to go on dates numerous times but in truth he didn't know what to do on a date. He wondered who he could ask for advice. He wasn't going to ask his male friends because he knew what they would say. Kiba would just make jokes about how the 'brave and powerful Uzumaki Naruto' was afraid of quiet shy Hinata. Shino would just talk about bugs and their scent glands or something. Shikamaru would say that dating and girls were just too much trouble. Chouji may have some good advice since he and Ino were a couple but he wasn't in town at the moment.
Naruto was walking about town trying to figure out what to do. His popularity in the village had grown since Pein's attack and the invasion by Rock so now the scornful stares were being replaced by warm smiles. There were a few girls trying to catch his attention but he was too deep in thought to notice. He meandered aimlessly through the village until he heard a bell ring and found himself in front of the Ninja Academy. Looking at the school and hearing the sound of the children playing brought back memories of his times at the academy.
He remembered how excited he was when he had first entered the academy as a child and how he knew that once everyone saw how amazing he was he would be widely accepted. That dream was quickly dashed when he found out that no one cared whether he did his work or not. When he would put up his hand to ask or answer a question during class the teachers would just ignore him. When he would stay after class to ask for help the teachers would usually just stare at him like he was crazy and then walk away. The only way he could get a teacher to even say his name was when he acted up so that was what he did. There was only one teacher who treated him as a person and that was Umino Iruka.
At first Iruka didn't like Naruto because he knew what was inside him and Naruto's reputation for being a troublemaker. However as Iruka watched Naruto he realized that all of his antics were just cries for help and attention. In the beginning Naruto thought that Iruka was just like all the other teachers but over time Naruto started to notice Iruka actually paying attention to what he said. Naruto was still leery of Iruka's motives until Iruka almost died saving Naruto's life from Mizuki, another teacher at the academy.
Naruto thought "Iruka-sensei always has good advice and he won't laugh at me. Maybe he knows what to do on a date."
The noise of the children told Naruto that they had been let out for recess so he entered the school's front door and went directly to Iruka's classroom. As expected he found Iruka-sensei at his desk correcting papers so Naruto rapped on the door jamb to get the teacher's attention.
Looking up, Iruka smiled and said "Hey, Naruto, what brings you here?"
"Hi Iruka-sensei, I was just walking by and I was wondering, if you weren't busy, that maybe you could help me with a problem I got?"
Iruka placed his pen down and sat back in his chair while saying "Sure Naruto, anything for my favorite student."
Naruto smiled at the compliment and walked forward to sit on the front corner of Iruka's desk so that he wouldn't have to look directly into Iruka's face if he felt embarrassed. Iruka noticed the nervousness in Naruto's manner and decided to start the conversation saying "Now what is it I can help you with, Naruto?"
Naruto chuckled nervously, started scratching the back of his head with his right hand and then said "Well, you know that I have been hanging out with Hinata a lot lately, right?"
Iruka looked at Naruto and replied "Yes, I know."
"Well, I asked her last month to be my girlfriend and she said 'yes'" Naruto said.
Iruka broke into a big smile and said "Well, it's about time. I was beginning to think that you would never realize how much she liked you."
Naruto replied "Yeah, yeah, everybody seemed to know about it but me."
Iruka chuckled and said "So why do you need my help?"
Naruto took a deep breathe and said "You see, we haven't been able to get together since she was recovering at the Hyuuga estates."
Iruka nodded while listening. He had heard how Hinata had damaged her eyes protecting Naruto and Gaara while they were literally holding Konoha together during the attack by the Rock Nins.
"Well this is the first time we had a chance to get together and I wanted to know; what do you do on a date?" Naruto asked.
Iruka was confused so he said "Uh, Naruto, you and Hinata have been dating for a whole year so what are you talking about?"
Naruto replied "No we haven't. We have just been hanging out."
Then Iruka asked "Did you just meet her on the street while you were with your other friends or were the two of you alone?"
Naruto answered "Sometimes we were with our friends but mostly we were alone."
Iruka said "Uh huh. Naruto, when is Hinata's birthday?"
Now Naruto was confused so he said "What does that have to do with anything?"
Iruka answered "Please, Naruto, just answer the question."
Still confused Naruto replied "December 27."
Next Iruka asked "What is her favorite food?"
Unsure of where this was going Naruto answered "Cinnamon rolls and soft bean jam."
"And what foods doesn't she like?" Iruka continued.
Naruto answered "She doesn't like shellfish especially crab and prawns."
Then Iruka asked "Do you know what her hopes and dreams are?"
Again Naruto answered "Yeah, to be acknowledge by her Clan and to get that stupid family of hers back together."
Exasperated Naruto asked "Iruka-sensei, what does any of this have to do with dating?"
Iruka smiled and said "Just answer one more question: Did you know any of this stuff before you started hanging out with Hinata?"
Naruto thought for a while and then said "No, not really."
"Naruto, that is all dating is all about" Iruka said.
Seeing the confusion in Naruto's eyes Iruka continued "Naruto, dating is about learning everything about the other person to see if you like them or not. People go to restaurant and movies just to be relaxed but they are really just trying to find out if the person they are with likes the same things they do. And even if they don't like everything their date does, are the differences great enough to start dating someone else."
Naruto thought about this awhile and then said "But what about Sakura, I know her birthday is March 28, her favorite food is green plum pickles and she hates spicy food but we haven't been on a date."
Iruka replied "How did you get this information, did she tell you herself or did you find out by accident?"
"Well, I found out about the food while we were on Team 7. I found out about her birthday when we were in the Academy. I overheard Sakura and Ino talking about Sakura's upcoming birthday party and I went up to asked if I was invited. Both of them just looked at me, started laughing and then walked away" Naruto replied.
Iruka felt bad that he had caused Naruto to remember such a hurtful time in his life and said "Sorry, Naruto, I didn't know."
Naruto just grinned and waved it off saying "Don't worry about it, it was along time ago and beside Sakura asked me personally to her last two birthday parties, so all is forgiven."
"Well the information you have about Hinata was information she willingly gave you so that you could know her better" Iruka continued.
Naruto thought about this awhile and then Iruka said "Anyway the point I was trying to make is that there is no reason to be nervous, just keep doing what you have been doing and you'll do fine."
Naruto grinned and said "Thanks, Iruka-sensei, I knew you would have the answer. If there is anything I can do for you, just ask."
Iruka replied "Well, if you don't mind, could you stay and have a talk with the kids? It's not often we get to have a famous shinobi visit the school."
Naruto liked the phrase "famous shinobi" and feeling full of himself, he answered "Sure, I can spare a little time to talk about my adventures and show my amazing skill."
"Good, then follow me" Iruka said while he rose from his desk and headed out the room with Naruto following close behind.
When they were outside in the Academy's training ground Iruka yelled "All right, everyone listen up."
All the kids stopped what they were doing and headed towards Iruka when they saw who was standing next to him. "I don't know if you recognized his face but today we have a visitor who has saved this village numerous times. I would like you all to meet Uzumaki Naruto" Iruka said.
The small crowd of children clapped their hands while a few 'ooh's and 'wow's permeated the noise. Naruto grinned and bowed at the children and then raised his hands to silence the crowd.
However before he could speak Iruka interrupted and said "Would you believe he graduated dead last in his class."
Naruto's face dropped when he heard that and turned toward Iruka and said "Hey Iruka-sensei, that's not fair."
Iruka ignored Naruto and continued "However through hard work and determination he has now become one the best shinobis in Konoha and one that I am proud to call my student."
Naruto smiled and said "Thanks, Iruka-sensei" and then turned towards the kids and said "Iruka-sensei is right. Just because you are having a hard time with your lessons you shouldn't give up. If you try your best and don't quit then you too can be a proud shinobi of Konoha. Now who has questions?"
All the children raised their hands and Naruto took his time to answer each and every one of them, making sure no one was ignored. At the end of the question and answer period he showed them a few ninjutsus, made a couple of clones and finished by creating a rasengan. Then Iruka called the children together and told them it was time to return to class.
When the children began groaning and complaining Naruto said "Hey, hey, listen to Iruka-sensei. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be the shinobi I am today."
One kid said "I thought he said you had the lowest score in your class? It doesn't sound like he helped you very much."
"That's true but that was because I wasn't listening during class" Naruto replied.
"When I went into the field, I ran into situations where I would say 'Hey, Iruka-sensei said something like this would happen' and then I knew what to do" he continued.
"You never know what kind of information you will need to complete a mission until it's too late to ask for help" he finished.
The kids looked like they were thinking about what Naruto had said and then little by little they started entering the building while Iruka thanked Naruto and followed his class inside.
Naruto's and Hinata's first official date was rather simple. Naruto took Hinata to her favorite restaurant and afterwards they went for a walk through town. At the end of the date Naruto walked her home where they stopped a hundred yards from the main gate, out of normal eyesight of the gate guards. Hinata had hoped that Naruto would kiss her but he just asked her if she was free tomorrow night.
When Hinata answered "Yes Naruto-kun, I'm not doing anything special", Naruto replied "Great, I'll come by at six" and just left.
Hinata sighed and thought "Well, it is still early in the relationship, maybe tomorrow night."
The next night Naruto came by and took Hinata to a movie, a light snack at Ichiraku, a walk afterwards. Again when he dropped Hinata off at the Hyuuga estates he just said goodnight and left. This pattern repeated itself for the next two weeks.
Finally one night as Naruto said his goodbyes Hinata softly said "Naruto-kun, wait."
Naruto turned around and seeing Hinata looking down and playing with her fingers he asked "Hinata, what wrong? I haven't seen you do that thing with your fingers in a long time."
Realizing what she was doing Hinata quickly put her hands behind her back and thought "Drat!" and then, looking up at Naruto, quietly said "Do you like me, Naruto-kun?"
Naruto was taken aback by the question and replied "Like you? Of course I like you. You're the best girlfriend in the world!"
Hinata looked deeply in his eyes for any sign of falsehood and when she couldn't see anything quietly asked "Then why haven't you kissed me again? Am I that bad at kissing?"
Shaken by the question Naruto quickly answered "No, no, Hinata, your kisses are really nice actually and your lips are so soft."
Hinata blushed a little at the compliment and then said "Then why haven't you kiss me goodnight?"
Naruto placed his right hand behind his head in embarrassment and replied "Because I thought you would hit me if I did."
This time it was Hinata turn to be shocked and she asked "Why would you think I would hit you, Naruto-kun?"
"Well," Naruto answered "whenever I tried to kiss any other girl I would always get hit by them."
Hinata's eyes widen and she said "You have been trying to kiss other girls?"
Realizing what Hinata was thinking Naruto put up his hands in a placating motion and quickly answered "No, Hinata, that's not what I meant. I meant a long time ago when I was little. Every time I tried to be friendly and tried to kiss a girl she would hit me."
Hinata was saddened by the way Naruto had been treated as a child and said "Were they your girlfriend at the time?"
Naruto replied "No, as a matter of fact you are my first girlfriend."
Not wanting Naruto to feel too bad she replied "Well that's why. Only boyfriends and girlfriends are allowed to kiss each other so you don't have to worry about me hitting you. I didn't hit you the last time you kissed me, did I?"
"So you're saying that I can kiss you now?" Naruto asked unsurely.
"Yes, Naruto-kun, you may kiss me anytime you want" Hinata softly said as a full blush crept across her face.
Keeping his hands behind his back Naruto leaned closer to Hinata and kissed her lightly on the lips. After a few seconds he pulled back and said quietly "Soft" and then realizing what he said he added "Thanks Hinata and goodnight", then sped off into the night.
Hinata waved goodnight and feeling as if it were a dream she turned and walked towards the main gate. As she approached the gates both guards acknowledge her by saying "Good night, Hinata-sama".
Hinata gave a polite bow to each guard and said "Thank you" then entered and went straight to her room.
The gate guards had seen everything that had transpired between Hinata and Naruto with their Byakugan as it was their job to check out anyone nearing the Clan estates. However neither one saw any reason to report this to any Main Family member as most of the Branch Family liked Hinata and didn't want to see her get into trouble.
Naruto had a mission for the next couple of days while Hinata was restricted to Konoha with light clerical duties until she was placed back on full status. For the rest of the week Naruto would give Hinata a kiss whenever they were alone but each kiss was done the same way with Naruto keeping his hands behind his back and kissing Hinata lightly on the lips. One day when Naruto was taking Hinata home after another date he leaned in to kiss her and she said "Naruto-kun, you can hold me when you kiss me, I won't break."
Placing his hand behind his head again Naruto said "Eh, sorry about that Hinata" and then placing one hand on each of Hinata's arms below her shoulders he pulled her close and kissed her putting more pressure in his kiss.
Pulling away he said "Well, goodnight Hinata" turned and left. Hinata smiled and thought "Not exactly what I had in mind but it's a start."
This technique went on for a few days when Hinata said "Naruto-kun, when you hold me to kiss me please hold me like you are giving me a hug."
Naruto replied "Oh, sure Hinata" and grabbed her in a tight embrace and kissed her.
The hug wasn't a bear hug but it came pretty close as far as Hinata was concerned. After Naruto had left Hinata wondered "How am I going to teach him the right way to do it?"
As she walked into the manor an idea came to her and smiling she went straight to her room knowing that the next date would be different.
Their next opportunity to get together came a few days later and when Naruto asked what she wanted to do Hinata immediately replied "There's a new movie at the theater I want to see, Naruto-kun, let's go tonight".
Naruto groaned because he had heard about that movie, it was what his male friends called a 'chick flick' because it dealt with romance and showing one's feelings. Not wanting to say 'no' directly Naruto made a counter offer "Hey Hinata, that movie will be around for awhile. I…uh…heard that there is a traveling troupe of entertainer just passing through and they will only be here for one night. Let's go see them instead."
Hinata didn't need her Hyuuga training to tell Naruto was trying to avoid seeing the movie so she said "Naruto-kun, the last two movies we saw were your choice and now it's my turn."
Naruto grinned hesitantly and replied "I know and the next movie we see will be your choice but this troupe is supposed to be real good and I would hate to miss seeing them."
At this point Hinata decided to try a technique that she had heard was very successful from the other girls who had boyfriends. Hinata unleashed what would become her secret weapon, the puppy dog eyes, and said "Please Naruto-kun?"
Naruto couldn't believe it! Looking into her eyes it seemed as if they had gotten bigger and his resolve had gotten smaller. At that moment if she had asked him to give up ramen he might have done so, well he would have seriously considered it anyway. "Oh all right, we'll go to the movie" Naruto said.
"Thank you, Naruto-kun" Hinata said then she kissed him lightly on the cheek and taking his hand they started walking towards the theater district.
Hinata had two reasons for seeing this movie; the first reason was that it was a romantic drama about two people who accidentally meet and fall in love. However the love is complicated because both lovers are engaged to other people. The second reason was that she hoped Naruto would pick up some ideas on how to romantically kiss and hold a woman. When they arrived at the theatre Naruto paid for the tickets and followed Hinata inside to their seat. While walking down the aisle Naruto noticed that the women out-numbered the men by ten to one.
"Gee, I wonder why?" he thought sarcastically.
However when Naruto sat down and Hinata snuggled up close so that he could put his arm around her shoulder he thought "This isn't so bad. Besides Hinata doesn't asked me for much so if watching this movie makes her happy then I should be willing to sit through it."
The movie was exactly as Hinata heard it would be; a gripping tale of love and anguish and the love scenes were as romantic as ever. When one particularly tender scene was happening Hinata decided to look at Naruto to see how he would react. Not wanting to use her Byakugan in case she might spy on any couples in a passionate embrace she slowly turned her head in Naruto's direction. What she saw disappointed her as Naruto had his head tilted upward in the seat's head rest and he was fast asleep. Sighing ruefully Hinata returned to watching the movie a little sad that her plan had not worked. After the movie was over she gently shook Naruto who woke with a start saying "I'm awake! I'm awake!"
Sighing once again Hinata rose from her seat saying "Come on, Naruto-kun, the movie is over. Let's go."
After a quick snack at Ichiraku, Naruto took her home with Hinata anticipating receiving another clumsy kiss 'goodnight'. It wasn't that Hinata didn't like kissing Naruto; oh no, his kisses always made her lightheaded. It was just the foreplay leading up to the kisses could have been gentler. When they arrived at the spot where they usually kissed she expected Naruto to pull her towards him but instead he moved closer to her. Then he use his right hand to move a lock of Hinata's hair behind her left ear and slowly but gently drew the palm of his hand across her left cheek letting her nuzzle against it. Next he drew his right hand under her chin, put his left arm around her back resting his hand at the small of her back and tilted her head upward while tilting his head downward letting his lips lightly touch hers. He let his lips lightly capture hers and pull away, and then he repeated this movement while gently embracing her and capturing her lips again for the final time.
This kiss lasted awhile and when they separated he said "Goodnight Hinata".
Hinata was still in a daze when Naruto had spoken so he said again "Good Night, Hinata".
Hinata regained her senses and answered "Huh…what…Oh! Goodnight, Naruto-kun."
Naruto smiled, turned and walked away while Hinata lightly touched her lips softly saying "He was paying attention to the movie".
Hinata turned and entered the main gate smiling as she headed to her room not even acknowledging the greeting from the guards.