This chapter is a bit short, it kinda veered off the course of my original outline so...yeah.
Some TobiHina and slight ShinoKiba if you read the subtext.
It had taken Hinata all of ten minutes of standing in a janitor's closet to realize she had just skipped class.
She can't excuse herself from their presence to return to her class and continue her art though, the meetings are mandatory, apparently. Also, Pein had just given Zetsu the permission to paint Hinata's nails.
Zetsu moves her to a corner, in the surprisingly large janitor's closet, to sit and begins to decorate her fingers with a hearty red to match Konan's. His face is still painted black and white and Hinata wonders why the school allows so many students and staff to have such things obstructing their true features. Then again thinking about the conversation she had with Konan last week, she's starting to think the dean just doesn't care.
The polish on her nails is drying now, and Zetsu wants to put the second coat on before lunch starts. He brings a fan over from another corner, plugs it in and points it at her hands resting on her knees.
She feels sick. The smell of bleach and nail polish invade her senses, the bright single light of the room offends her vision making her eyes sore, making her restless. The combination of the fumes in the air and ugly yellow of the light bulb are making her dizzy and Hinata is sure nothing good will come of her appearance at lunch with the Akatsuki in tow.
Pein had made it very clear that she is to wear the ensemble given to her for the entire day.
Being unable to leave because of her current predicament, Hinata sits rigid on a box of hand soap, the fan in front her, hands on her lap as her nails dry. Next to her Tobi happily plays with her hair as it blows in the faint breeze.
"We can do so much together now! Isn't that great senpai?" Tobi looks over to Deidara who is currently ignoring Tobi as he skillfully crafts a bird out of a mound of clay taken from the art class.
Deidara spits into his hand, Sasori grimaces at the action and moves swiftly away from his roommate to join Itachi and Konan, who share a class and are going over an assignment together.
Pein is grudgingly mediating the ongoing argument between Hidan and Kakuzu, the two are either completely oblivious or do not care about the threatening looks they're receiving.
Hinata gives Kisame a pensive look when he shoos Tobi away and joins Zetsu as he applies the second coat of nail polish, he grins at her when he takes Tobi's seat. Tobi moves around Zetsu to her left and starts to sit before he is pulled away by Deidara who takes his seat. Tobi whines and Kisame and Zetsu chuckle at the two.
Hinata is still too stiff too comment on the matter.
"So now that the princess is here," Kisame puts on arm around her shoulders, Zetsu hisses at him for ruining his articulate painting. Kisame pays him no mind as he looks around the room to gather the others attention. "I say we give her a proper initiation."
Hinata doesn't know where the nickname came from but she doesn't make a fuss out it, believing the name to be a part of the initiation process. She's sure everyone else has one if the others calling Tobi Two-face and Kisame Jaws were anything to go by, but then again she can never be sure with this lot.
Zetsu and Deidara gives a few slow nods, still occupied with their arts, and Tobi gives an excited 'whoop' behind Zetsu. Pein looks as if he's mulling over the idea before shoving Kakuzu, who gives a grunt, and Hidan who curses at their leader, and moves over to the small huddle to speak with Konan.
"Tobi is your boyfriend."
Hinata jumps. Zetsu gives another sharp hiss.
Kisame and Deidara and basically everyone who wasn't involved in the huddle with Pein gives him a look. "What? Why Tobi?" It doesn't matter who said it, Hinata could tell they were all thinking it. Pein ignores them.
"For the time being, Hinata will be under the guise of a supportive girlfriend in order to avoid the suspicion of the Inuzuka, Aburame, and the other Hyuuga." Pein holds of the attention of the entire room, gesturing to the underclassmen as he speaks. "Also, if The Ichibi has relations to her, this could provide us with the leniency we need."
How would Tobi being her boyfriend not arouse suspicion?
Why would the Akatsuki need leniency?
…. What is an Ichibi?
Pein locks eyes with Hinata, "Until further notice, in public you are not an official member, otherwise you are in fact involved with the Akatsuki." She gives a small nod.
This is all very confusing, she understood to some extent but other than that the thoughts in her head are just chaotic, and a blush grows steadily over her face when in finally sinks in that she's going to have a boyfriend. Her head feels light.
Tobi, meanwhile, begins to give her and himself a celebratory pat on the back, Hinata's head lolls from the impact.
Hinata nearly passes out, but doesn't thanks to the overpower smell of the chemicals around her, Konan suggest they all go to the bleachers for lunch and already thinking of an excuse to give her other friends after lunch. Regaining her semi-consciousness she takes a few calming breaths to cool her face, thankful Zetsu and Deidara were too occupied to notice, Kisame had moved after the small announcement and Tobi, taking his seat, was just too oblivious due to his self-praising.
As soon as bell rings, signaling their lunch, the group parts ways from the empty building and Hinata makes it a point to duck around corners and taller students in order to avoid the curious looks of other students as they spot a female member of the Akatsuki who is not Konan. After grabbing her lunch from the mini fridge in her dorm Hinata rushes to the bleachers on the opposite side of campus, just in time to see Kiba and Shino aggressively forced outside the library by an angry looking librarian.
At first she wants to speak with her friends, give an explanation to where she's been knowing they must be looking for her, but she realizes she's still wearing the letterman-styled jacket of the Akatsuki.
Panic takes over and Hinata searches her mind for an excuse when Kiba and Shino spot her and make their way toward the nervous girl.
The confrontation was unavoidable and there is no doubt in her mind that nothing good will come of the two practically running toward her.
Her hands begin to shake nervously but Hinata stands her ground. Her body is stiff and unmoving even if her bento jumbles between her fingers, some of the students walking around her pause in their trek to look at the girl curiously, even Izumo and Kotetsu, still in their golf cart, stop to look at Hinata in her rigid posture before speeding away. Kiba and Shino, meanwhile, shuffle and shove themselves around other students to reach her.
Eventually when the two do reach her she can clearly see the enraged contortions of Kiba's face and the frustrated wrinkles along Shino's nose and brow. Hinata drags her feet backwards to escape but she stumbles forward instead when her clothing is handled roughly when Kiba tugs her forward by the cloud patch on the upper left of her jacket.
"Hinata. Why - I, fuck." Kiba gives an angry snarl before he continues, "What the hell?"
Hinata grips her lunch not daring to look at Kiba or even the vengeful glint of Shino's glasses.
Almost dropping her bento she regains her hold and brings it in front of her face in to block Kiba from looking at her.
Kiba gives another angry snarl before loosening his grip on Hinata and stepping away.
Hinata lowers her lunch to peer curiously at Kiba, who now has given her a generous amount of space, arms crossed mumbling to himself. Shino looks at her and Hinata begins to open her mouth to calm her fuming friend, and give reason to the other.
Looking over the two she begins to speak, "I, I know you might not like it, them, but I…li –."
"Like them." A sour look covers Kiba's face. "You like them, you've been saying that a lot lately. We get it." Hinata presses her lips together, swallowing the courage she once had.
Rather than announce her obvious membership into the Akatsuki Hinata provides a small anecdote as to what and why she is wearing the Akatsuki coat, complete with the cover story given to her by Pein, Tobi isn't her boyfriend until tomorrow. She is careful to not give them any details of what her actual initiation was, well, is.
"They, um, a few of them actually, remind me a bit you two."
Kiba looks as if he is going to strangle the closest passing student when she says that and an mysterious light covers Shino's glasses before suggesting that he and Kiba join her for lunch with the Akatsuki.
Unable to find the words to refuse two of her friends from doing what they want, she nods and leads them to the bleachers she last sat at with the group.
Throughout the campus of the school a crackle of a voice coming through the speakers is heard:
"Attention teachers and students, the time has come for another school pep rally, which means the Halloween Ball is right around the corner. When classes end on tomorrow, be sure to make your way to the school gymnasium where your class representatives will reveal this year's dance theme and spirit days. So be sure to come out and show support for your class, and have a great day."
That announcement lead way to a very uncomfortable topic to be brought up; dating. And sure, maybe she'd be comfortable talking about with Shino and Kiba, but definitely not with the Akatsuki present.
If Hinata wasn't uncomfortable before she certainly was now. Lunch is nearly over and the tension is still thick in the air from the week before. Hinata tries to avoid all conversation with both the Akatsuki and her two other friends, but as usual with both groups, she fails.
"I don't think, I, I'll be going to the dance."
"Oh, why not?"
"I, I don't have anyone to go with."
"Don't be silly Hinata, you can go with Tobi."
Her and Tobi lock – eye, and she looks over to Pein before nodding at Tobi, "Um, okay."
Hinata can clearly see Kiba tighten his fist next to her and she knows he's trying to fight off his anger, thankful that she at least told them partially what's going on. All she can do now is hope the bell will ring soon to end lunch.
When lunch does end, the large group is already at the bottom of the bleachers and Hinata turns to Kiba and Shino while most of the Akatsuki disperse to go to their classes, except Kakuzu and Itachi who she shares her next class with.
"You really have to do this, huh?" Kiba pouts at her, putting a hand on her head.
Hinata smiles at him. "I don't have to, they're not making me do this."
"They're doing it for…your protection." Both Kiba and Hinata look at Shino.
"Yes, I suppose so, they care." She nods at Shino. "So, there's no need for you to worry."
"Well, even if they are, I still don't trust them, but," Kiba makes a face "If you trust them, then okay." Shino gives a nod and Kiba gives her hair a small ruffle before letting his hand fall.
"Just make sure Neji doesn't find out." Yes. She's thought about that, and grimaces at the thought.
"Hurry it up Hyuuga." Kakuzu isn't patient, and Hinata doesn't want to be late.
She gives them both reassuring smiles before they part ways to head to their classes. Following Itachi and Kakuzu to their next class, Hinata waves to her friends when she reaches the end of the field.
The rest of the day passes without incident, well, no major incident other than Tobi asking to walk her to her dorm after their history class.
"Hinata!" Books slam onto her desk making Hinata and a few other students jump. "Where were you yesterday?"
Today in their Horticultural Studies class they're taking notes from their class books, and Ino has just come back from the bookshelf in the front of the class, and the room is rather noisy for note taking.
Hinata looks at the books on her desk. "I, um…was with Kiba and Shino…" Her gazes moves up to meet Ino's.
"Do have any idea how weird it was to have Gaara and Sasuke at the same table."
"I don't…" Hinata gives her friend a small smile of apology and Ino returns it with a sigh, sliding a book on to her side of the desk.
"All they did was stare at each other." Ino takes her seat next to Hinata, "And Naruto didn't make it any better."
Hinata turns to face her now that Ino is seated.
"But anyway, did you hear the announcement?" Hinata nods, opening her book. "This is so great, we can have a girl's night, you'll get to know Sakura and maybe you'll love her. Even I can't stand her sometimes, and we've been friends forever!" Ino opens her own book and takes out a sheet of paper, handing another to Hinata.
"Well, I, I'm actually going with someone already…" Hinata isn't looking at Ino when she responds.
"Oh, um, it's…uh…" Was she supposed to tell? No one told her when exactly she and Tobi were going to make their 'relationship' known.
"Is it Tobi?"
Hinata nods. "Uh, y-yes." How did she know?
"I knew it! I saw you two walking together yesterday, oh, you even hugged. So cute."
Well that made sense, anyone could misinterpret that as a couple saying their goodbyes, but, that was just Tobi, he likes to hug – her, a lot.
"Plus, I have a class with him. He kept going on about his cute little girlfriend and how they're going to the dance together." Ino gives a wistful sigh, "Makes me wish I had a boyfriend, too."
Ino and Hinata take their notes more quietly when the teacher shushes the room and begins to rotate around the room.
They finish their notes just before the bell rings and after returning the books to the shelf and seating herself Ino begins to complain about her sore hand and a few other students agree with her about the amount of notes.
"Oh, Shikamaru is having a party after the dance!" Shikamaru? Having a party? She may have not known him for long but she could tell he wasn't a party person. Hinata gives her friend a questioning look. "Well, it's not really a party," Ino rubs her thumb on her right palm, "More of a get together between our families…but, his dad said we could invite as many friends as we wanted so, ha! Instant party."
"Oh, that sounds like fun. Is it at Shikamaru's?" Ino nods.
"You think your dad will let you go?" Hinata shakes her head. "Yeah. Knowing him probably not, oh who cares though, me and you can have fun without a dance or a party."
Hinata knows Ino is trying to make her feel better, but he words really aren't helping.
Then there's the fact that Neji would have to be there. That's right. Her father wouldn't let her attend either events without Neji or some other type of supervision, even if the dance was at the school and the party was not a party. But then again would she really be able to handle Neji knowing about her and Tobi, and the Akatsuki?
The pep rally was long and tiring, reflecting much of Hinata's day.
There was the fact that she had to go through the entire day with an aching body from her gym class, she could barely get to her other classes due to her teacher wanting to get as much exercise in as possible because of the shortened classes. Then, Gaara and Neji – mostly Neji – making a scene at not knowing where she was the previous day, telling her of the rumors they heard around campus about a second female Akatsuki member, the situation was made worse by Tobi who came running into the cafeteria and grabbed Hinata's hand raising it above her head to announce to the entire room that he and her were dating, it took a long while to explain that one to Neji and Gaara. Not to mention the fact that people seemed to avoid her more than usual after lunch and seeing her with the Akatsuki most of the time, but that was reasonable.
When it finally came time for the pep rally Hinata was so exhausted she barely had time to react when a t-shirt traveling at an unknown speed hit her in the face, while she was trying to find her friends in the bleachers. Then when she was unable to find Shino, Kiba, Ino, or even Tobi she was pulled into a seat by Naruto who sat her between him and Sasuke, the latter who looked as uncomfortable as she did.
Plus, she still has the glitter in her hair due to the cannons that shot out the tinsel laced confetti from the ceiling and floor.
It was a chaotic day.
At the moment though, Hinata and Ino are currently sitting on a bench outside the library, Hinata is prepared for the worst, but so far Ino is doing her best.
"Don't worry about it Mr. Hyuuga, Hinata will be in good, safe hands. I promise you."
Ino is on the phone with her father. He's away on a business trip and this was really the best and only way to get in contact with him where he is.
Ino makes a face. "Oh no, Neji is definitely going to be there."
She's trying, and so far, successfully convincing her father into letting Hinata go to the dance and the not-party, as well as spend the weekend with her.
"Hmm, oh, yes, yes of course Mr. Hyuuga." Ino gives her a thumbs up.
"Thank you Mr. Hyuuga, have fun in Thailand!" Ino clicks off the phone and tucks it away into Hinata's hoodie pocket. "Well, lucky you Ms. Hyuuga, you get to spend the next few days with me. Congratulations!" Ino tugs Hinata forward into a hug before letting go and moving to go inside the library and tell Shikamaru they have another guest on their list.
She's never been invited to a party, let alone asked to a dance. It's exciting. Even if the party isn't really a party, and she wasn't asked to the dance but told that she'd be attending with a fellow Akatsuki member.
But she doesn't want to overthink that too much, she's still anxious.
When Ino returns she and Hinata make conversation on next week's spirit days, and what they'll be doing, well, what Ino will be doing. Hinata has a general idea that none of the Akatsuki will be participating in the spirit days. Their conversation continues as Ino mentions what she and Sakura will be wearing, and all Hinata can do is listen as her friend carries on about the dance and the activities that are sure to follow, making Hinata blush when she gives a suggestive look to a passing Sasuke. Hinata doesn't fake her embarrassment when she quickly excuses herself, mentioning how she has to meet Tobi to buy tickets to the dance.
When Hinata reaches the end of the campus she sees Tobi waving a hand and she meets him near the front of the very long line, but nothing is said when she joins him. Tobi buy their tickets after frequently denying Hinata's money and slips his hand into hers when she begins to tug at her hoodie in frustration. The two of them are walking away from the table after successfully purchasing their tickets, when Tobi tugs her forward when he sees Kiba and Shino.
Kiba and Shino, who've deemed Tobi harmless, greet the two before going back to whatever conversation they were having.
"I don't think I'll be going to Shikamaru's, I rather not be invited where I'm not wanted, or needed, should I say."
Kiba posture drops at hearing that. "Shino, you can't be serious."
"You seemed rather serious about not letting me know about you get together with the others."
"Why ya always have to bring up old stuff." Ignoring Kiba, Shino turns to Hinata to ask if she's attending the not-party at the Nara's.
"It won't be impolite if you chose not to attend."
Hinata shakes her head. "No, I want to go."
"Are you sure."
"Damn it Shino, if you don't want to be alone Saturday night just say so."
Hinata and Shino give Kiba a look, and Tobi cocks his head.
"I – I didn't mean like that!" Shino raises a brow before leaving the scene, seeming to make his way toward his dormitory.
"Is he always like that?" Tobi asks pointing in the direction Shino left.
"Not…really," Kiba answers distracted watching Shino leave, "He's just being bitter about something that happened a long time ago." He shouts the last bit, stopping Shino outside his dorm.
He turns to look at them, and an ominous glare covers his glasses before he enters the building.
"Every damn time." Mutters Kiba jogging to follow after Shino
"Do you know why he's upset?" Hinata shakes her head and she would ask what happened to make Shino dislike Shikamaru but she rather not, already able to tell the story would be something she doesn't want to hear.
Suddenly, Tobi releases her hand and turns to face her, putting his hands on her shoulders and presses his mask to her cheek.
He kisses her?
She doesn't have much time to react when Tobi moves in again to hug her and his hands wander a bit lower than usual before he steps away and runs off.
Hinata, a little dazed and very confused walks to her dorm and is quick to take the stairs to the fourth floor rather than be stuck in an uncomfortable social situation with an Akatsuki fan club member while suspended in air within a giant metal box. She doesn't want to take the risk.
Opening the door to her floor she's just in time to see Kisame and Itachi bolting her and Konan's door back onto its frame. Hinata can only assume the situation is similar to what happened with Sasori and Deidara, she vaguely wonders where their floor manager both was and is when these situations occurred.
Hinata slowly lets the door close behind her as she steps into the hall, she sees Kisame turn and he gives her a toothy smile as she approaches. Standing from his crouched position he turns to her, "We were just looking for you."
"Oh, I was, getting tickets with Tobi."
"Is that so," Itachi stands to join Kisame "Well, we apologize Konan. You were correct." Hinata looks past the two and sees Konan sitting on her bed reading, she waves, and Hinata returns it with a small one of her own letting Konan return to her book.
She looks back at Itachi and he begins to wrap a cord around what looks like connects to a power drill, Hinata really wonders where their floor manager is.
"We were just making sure you were following through on orders." Kisame says testing the door, as Itachi begins to walk down the hall to the stairwell.
He opens and shuts the door one last time before gesturing for her to pass, Hinata steps inside her room. Kisame nearly closes the door on her, but Hinata stops him with a hand on the frame.
"Um, will you be going to the, the dance?"
"I don't know." Kisame grins, calling to Itachi over his shoulder. "Are we?"
Itachi doesn't stop walking. "We may as well, someone has to keep an eye on you."
Gosh, somebody help me, school is kickin' my butt and this chapter was suppose to be out last week. Oh well.
Hope you enjoyed it!