Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto nor do I own Paramore's Conspiracy
AN/ Special Thanks to erihar1979, animedyshe217, 4Evr.-A.-fAIlUrE, HinataMorningStar, Mina, AllyKatButterfly, Refrigerator-Burn, in your dreams as well, (nameless), UR BIGGEST FAN, and (nameless)…I truly, truly appreciate the support! =)
Well, just know that I will never abandon a story…Once I start it, I will finish it…
Hope you enjoy it!
Hinata shut the door behind her and looked around the studio.
The room was comfortably small. The lights were down low and the smell of burning incense filled the room. There was a comfy looking couch against the wall and on the opposite side; a booth-like table filled with buttons that the petite girl could not begin to comprehend. A little further back, divided by plexi-glass, was a smaller room that only held a microphone and headphones.
There was someone sitting in a big roller chair with huge headphones on his ears even though the music was flowing freely in the room.
Kiba walked up to the person and yanked the headphones off. "What the hell's your problem?" a deep voice grumbled as he tried to snatch them back. He gave up easily when Kiba held them higher.
The brunette smiled easily and waved Hinata over. She looked over at Shino, who had already made his way to couch with Akamaru at his feet. He nodded his head in support. She made her way over to the booth and stood next to Kiba.
The man in the chair had a bored expression on his face, but his chocolate brown eyes were scrutinizing her, making her want to fidget. She suppressed the urge and, in turn, began to examine him. Both his ears had two small gold hoops in it and brown hair was gathered in a tight ponytail, making it stand up like the top of a pineapple.
She smiled at the thought, not realizing that Kiba and the mystery guy were looking at her in confusion.
Kiba cleared his throat. "Anyway, Hinata, this is Shikamaru. Shikamaru, Hinata."
Hinata smiled shyly and bowed slightly. "Nice to meet you, Shikamaru-san."
Shikamaru nodded, "Likewise." He turned the (achingly familiar) music down and focused his full attention on her.
"So let's cut to the chase. Do you know why you're here?" he asked bluntly.
"Anoo," the bluenette looked up at her friend, who seemed to be looking everywhere but at her. Her brows furrowed a little at his behavior. "Kiba said it was a surprise."
Shikamaru nodded in understanding and leaned back. "Okay. I want you to listen to this. I know it sounds familiar to you."
He turned the volume back up and they all listened in silence as beats flowed through their ears. There were no lyrics but the sound was soothing, almost melancholic.
Hinata's brows furrowed in thought. She had heard this melody before, but where? She dug deeper into her mind. Hmmm…It actually sounds like the melody I usually get in my head when I was writing...
Her lavender eyes widened. She knew she was missing something!
"Kiba, you didn't!"
Said person folded his arms over his chest (only to hide the shaking) and looked defiantly into her angry eyes. "Okay, I admit it. I took it when I left yesterday."
"Why?" she cried, "That notebook is mine! You had no right to take it!"
"I don't get why the hell you're so mad," Kiba growled defensively. "It's not like you never let me put music to your lyrics before."
"That was different! I gave you permission. You do know what that word means, right? I swear I could just –,"
Shikamaru cleared his throat to get their attention. Hinata looked over at him and blushed a horrible shade of red. I can't believe I did that in front of stranger! Crap, he probably thinks I'm a crazy person. Kiba always manages to make me lose it!
"I hate to interrupt," Shikamaru remarked dryly as he looked at his watch, "but I have a meeting in a couple hours. Kiba, sit on the couch. I don't need you breathing down her neck while I'm talking to her."
Kiba shrugged his broad shoulders and complied. He walked over to where Shino was sitting, trying to pull Hinata's ponytail in the process.
Hinata, still angry, skillfully ducked her head and crossed her arms.
Shikamaru turned the music off and rose from his chair. His slender hand extended towards the black leather chair as he spoke. "Take a seat, Hinata-san."
The bluenette nodded her head in thanks, not bothering to argue with him. He seemed like the type of person who could have his way without even trying.
The lanky man leaned against the booth and crossed his arms. Hinata looked up at him, expectantly.
"Do you sing, Hinata-san?"
"Nani?" Out of all of the questions she expected him to ask her, for some reason, that question never crossed her mind.
Shikamaru just sighed. "Troublesome. Do you sing, Hinata-san?"
Said young woman bit her lip at the question. "Anoo, I sing in the shower and when I'm alone but if you're talking about in a crowd, then no."
Shikamaru nodded again. He wasn't a man of many words. "Well, I read your lyrics and I would like you to sing them for me." It was more of a statement than a question.
Hinata's mouth dropped open in shock. She smiled weakly, "You're joking, right?" She paled slightly when his mouth didn't even twitch. She shook her head fiercely. "No. No, no, no, no. I-I'm n-not even th-that g-good of a-a singer!"
The young man shrugged his shoulders in indifference. It really didn't matter to him; he just figured that because it was her song, she might want to sing it. Shikamaru looked at his watch. "Would you be willing to sell it?"
His voice popped through Hinata's thoughts. "Nani?" she asked stupidly.
Shikamaru rolled his eyes and Hinata flushed deeply.
"Hey!" Hinata and Shikamaru turned towards the source.
"She isn't selling shit and don't roll your eyes at her, bastard," Kiba growled.
Shikamaru sighed in annoyance. Why did he even agree to meet with the idiot? His sharp brown eyes looked at the shy young woman standing (more like fidgeting) next to him. Oh, that's why. He turned back towards Kiba, his stance displaying his boredom. "Considering it is Hinata-san's song and not yours, you do not have the right to say anything, idiot," he added the last word as an afterthought.
Kiba's eyes blazed as he opened his mouth only to wheeze as the breath was knocked out of him. Shino calmly removed his elbow from his best friend's stomach without saying a word. He nodded for Shikamaru to continue.
Shikamaru resisted the urge to rub his temples. He was starting to get a headache. Turning towards Hinata, who still seem shocked, he spoke. "This is your song, Hinata-san," he started, "I figured you would want to sing it but it seems that is not the case."
He stared into her unique eyes intently, though his body was still in a relaxed stance. "However, this song is too good to not be sung at all," he stated bluntly, "So if you won't sing it, would you be willing to sell it?"
Hinata looked at him absently as she mulled over what Shikamaru had asked her. He wants to buy my song? Is it really as good as he claims it is? She mentally shook her head. I'm just so confused at the moment! And that question about me singing. I never even sang in front my family and friends! But he said that if I didn't want to sing that he wanted to buy it. I wonder if he looked through my whole notebook.
She jumped about a foot when a hand settled on her back. "Oh Shino," she murmured, still a little dazed. "You startled me."
"I did not mean to," he replied. He didn't bother to remove his hand and gave her a gentle push towards the door leading to the smaller room with the microphone and headphones. "Come," he said calmly.
Hinata quickly looked behind her and stifled a giggle. It seemed that Shikamaru had fallen asleep where he stood as Kiba ranted, becoming even angrier when he realized that he was being ignored.
His curses became muffled as Shino shut the door behind him and leaned against, crossing his arms over his chest. Hinata bit her lip and began playing with her ponytail. She knew she had to start the conversation because that was how Shino worked. When something was wrong, he would wait until that person just spilled everything that was on their mind.
She began to twirl the end of her ponytail tightly around her finger before releasing it and start the process all over again. "I can't sing," she blurted out as she launched into a frantic pace.
"Wrong answer," was the smooth reply.
"I'm scared," she whispered.
"Understandable," Shino relented, "but when has that ever stopped you, Hinata? That is not the reason, try again."
"Then why don't you tell me since you already know?" the bluenette snapped in frustration. Shino didn't bother with a reply as he watched her continue her frantic pacing. Hinata bit her lip again, "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to snap like that."
Shino let a small smile come on his face letting her know that he understood her frustration. He stepped away from the door while taking off his dark glasses. Hinata didn't even notice him until his strong arms were wrapped around her small frame. She turned around, wriggling, to remove her pinned arms and squeezed him tightly in return.
They swayed slightly in silence, allowing Hinata to pull her thoughts together. "I don't want to disappoint my family." I don't want to disappoint my father.
The young man wouldn't have heard her if he wasn't so close. At that statement, he only squeezed her tighter in response. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, all the while trying to find the proper words to respond.
"They may be your blood, Hinata-chan, but they are not your family. Family builds you up instead of doing everything in their power to tear you down. Family supports you instead of mocking and berating your dreams.
"The day the Hyuuga disowned you was the day they had stopped being your family; maybe even before then.
"I know you still love them and that is okay. That is just the kind and loving person you are, and I would never want to change that about you. But just because you love them does not mean that you should give up yourself and your dreams just to please people who have no care for you."
Hinata shook her head in denial as tears welled up in her eyes. She still couldn't believe that her family, that her father, who had raised her from birth, would simply abandon her. Maybe if she had been smarter, stronger, or something. She was the eldest daughter; she simply should have been more.
Shino grit his teeth in frustration. He was used to these conversations, but that didn't mean he liked it or made it easier to have. "Ask yourself this, Hinata. If you stopped writing your songs and gone to work for the company, would you be happy? Be truthful."
Tears slowly ran down her cheeks as she slowly shook her head. "N-No."
Her companion nodded. "Now do you really think your - …that the Hyuuga would have been happy with that or do you think they would have found ways to critique you and tear down more of your self confidence?"
"But it's me!" the bluenette cried. "It's m-my fault! I-If I h-had been smarter o-or s-stronger, maybe…m-maybe th-they would -."
"Please, Hinata," Shino said, as close to a plea as he could get, "Are you listening to yourself? You are fine just the way you are." He sighed. "Nevermind, we will have this discussion later. I will tell you, though, that Shikamaru-san is correct in saying that you are an amazing song writer. If you do not want to sing, you should at least think about selling it. You could make a very large profit by doing that."
Hinata wiped her face and took a deep breath. "Are you disappointed in me too, Shino-kun?" she whispered. Her legs trembled, so she slid down the wall and wrapped her small arms around her knees.
Shino sat down beside her. "No, I am not, Hinata. I am frustrated at the fact that you cannot see how truly amazing and talented you are."
"I have stage fright."
The young man smiled at the change in subject. "I believe most people do, but the thrill and excitement of doing what they love overpowers that fear. Would you believe me, if I told you, that I have a small amount of stage fright?"
Her eyes opened wide. "B-But you sound so calm when you speak. You look so comfortable when you're lecturing to an audience."
"That is because I truly enjoy what I speak about. My passion for my research overrides my fear of public speaking. I know you love to write and I know that you love to sing. For once, do something that makes you happy. If you let go, I believe your passion for music will overcome your fear of failure."
"You've never heard me sing."
"You sing in the shower, do you not?" he stated nonchalantly, "You have a beautiful voice." The brunette looked over to see Hinata's anxious expression.
"You know that I would never say anything if I did not mean it."
She bit her lip. "I know, but you are also my best friend. You might be being bias without you even knowing it."
Her best friend tilted his lips in a slight frown. "Alright. How about a bet?"
Hinata leaned her head against the wall as she thought. Even if he hadn't said it, she knew she was being difficult. Her self-confidence was so low, that sometimes it was hard to get through her shell; her self-doubt. She at least owed him this one; he wouldn't ask her to do anything too crazy.
"Give me the details."
"You will sing at the café." Okay, maybe he would.
"W-What! A-Are you k-kidding me? D-Did you c-completely block out the l-last ten m-minutes of our c-conversation?"
"If you do not," he continued as if he didn't hear her, "You will be Kiba's…servant for the next month."
Hinata blanched at the wager. Kiba may be her best friend but he was sadistic when he wanted to be. He would probably make her do things just for his entertainment. She cringed when she turned to Shino; his hazel eyes filled with amusement.
He patiently waited for a response. Just from watching her reactions, he knew that she was at least thinking about it. As shy and timid as Hinata was, she never was one to back down from a bet.
Shino watched as Hinata bit her lip and narrowed her lavender eyes. He suppressed a smirk.
"What do I get if I win the bet?" she asked quietly.
Her best friend shrugged, though it looked a little weird on him. "Along with an extreme confidence boost, you can get whatever you want."
Hinata nodded her head in comprehension. She bit her lip again, this time in hesitation, before steeling her eyes in determination. She crawled her way towards Shino before straddling his lap.
Placing his hands comfortably on her hips; the brunette simply looked into her eyes and waited for her to make a move. It was like déjà vu all over again, only she wasn't as emotionally drained.
Running her hands through his soft thick hair, the bluenette continued to look into her best friend's eyes. He and Kiba had always been there for her through thick and thin, even when she tried to push them away. Time and time again she would ask them why they continued to hang out with a failure like her and they (meaning Kiba would speak while Shino would simply nod his head in agreement) always say the same thing.
"We love you, Hina. You're the princess and we're the knights in shining armor, ready to kick the bad guy's asses. We're not going anywhere so stop trying to push us away, damn it!"
Hinata gave her companion a soft smile before bending to place a soft kiss on his lips. The kiss deepened as Shino swept his tongue across her lips as an invitation and Hinata parted her mouth willingly. Their tongues danced with each other slowly and sensually before air forced them apart. Their breathing deepened and their eyes darkened, but they remained in control of themselves.
The bluenette licked her lips causing Shino to squeeze her hips in return. "What I want," she whispered, "are your services for a month."
Shino gave her a rare smirk and hummed in the back of his throat. "Well, that would mean that you will have to win the bet, ne?"
Hinata giggled lightly and nodded her head. "I guess you're right." Her lavender eyes shined bright with determination. "I'm terrified, Shino, but I do enjoy writing and I've always wondered how my music will sound to an audience."
Her chest filled with warmth and pride when Shino gave her a rare but bright smile. "You deserve to do something for you, Hina. And who knows? You might find yourself enjoying singing too."
He pulled himself up and brought Hinata along with him. Placing a soft kiss on her lips, he said, "Now let us go before Kiba kills Shikamaru-san."
Hinata giggled as they made their way out the door. She blushed brightly when she saw Kiba's smirk but smiled nonetheless. She made her way towards him, not resisting when he pulled her onto his lap. They stared at each other for a moment before Kiba gave her a blinding smile and pulled her in for a lingering kiss.
They pulled apart when the need for oxygen arose. Kiba gave the bluenette's waist a squeeze before meeting Shikamaru's calculating gaze. The brunette simply stared back with an unusual serious expression on his face.
Shikamaru gave Kiba a lazy shrug causing the aggressive man to relax and to resume his…cuddling. It wasn't his business anyway.
He casually watched Hinata's form as she ran her hands affectionately through Kiba's wild locks while he hid his face in her neck. Taking a glance at his watch, he sighed before speaking. "Have you come to decision, Hinata-san?"
Lost in her thoughts, Hinata jumped when his voice reached her, but composed herself rather quickly. Their eyes met and Shikamaru couldn't help but be slightly impressed by the determination she was openly expressing…considering his first impression of her.
The young woman nodded her head. She unconsciously bit her lip but quickly released it when she realized what she was doing. "I-I w-would," she paused and took a deep breath; smiling when Kiba gave her a squeeze for encouragement. "I would like to sing it."
Shikamaru nodded his head at the statement. "Would you be willing to sing for me here?"
The bluenette faltered slightly at the question, but the determination never fled from her eyes. "W-Well," if only she could take the damn stutter from her voice. Hinata cleared her throat and removed herself from Kiba's lap. "I was actually wondering if you would be able to come down to Kikaichū…next Friday?" She had turned her head towards Shino; her tone posing a question at the day.
Shino simply nodded his head. He could make it happen.
Shikamaru remained silent as his mind went through his schedule for the next two weeks. He had a meeting in the morning that day, but he would be free for the rest of that afternoon. Although he would have to see about…he withheld a sigh before visibly shrugging. They would just have to clear this schedules for this.
"That's fine," he agreed, "but I still need to hear something from you." He internally smirked as Hinata's face reddened; she was clever. "No offense to you, Hinata-san, but I don't want to waste my time if you're voice isn't up to par," he stated bluntly.
Hinata nodded her head in understanding while putting a hand to calm Kiba. She knew that the blunt man meant no offense to her; it was simply business. The brunette sat back down but sent Shikamaru a scathing glare along with a snare. He retaliated with an exaggerated eye roll.
Ignoring Kiba, Shikamaru looked expectantly at Hinata causing her to close her eyes and take a deep breath. He had to control his expression when she opened her mouth.
Hinata became kind of unnerved when Shikamaru swung his intense gaze on her, so she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She internally smiled when she felt Kiba and Shino behind her, although she kept her eyes closed. They were close enough to give her support, but far enough to show that she could stand on her own.
Explain to me
This conspiracy against me, yeah
And tell me how
I lost my power, oh, oh, yeah
Blood rushed to her cheeks when she opened her eyes to find everyone staring at her, even Akamaru. She lowered her eyes bashfully before working up the courage to look at Shikamaru.
"How did I do?" she asked him as she observed his facial expressions for a sign. Although his face remained bored, his chocolate orbs had lit up in interest.
The young man gave her a long look before his mouth curled into a lazy smirk. "I guess I'll see you next Friday," he said before his phone began to ring. He looked at it before rolling his eyes in annoyance.
For a moment, it looked as if he wasn't going to answer it, but after the fourth ring, he sighed and answered it. He grumbled out a greeting and quickly held the phone away from his ear as a screeching noise came through the small device.
He snickered at the wide eyes of Kiba and Hinata. Shino just raised his eyebrow in question. After a couple of minutes, the screeching (words) had died down and Shikamaru put the phone back to his ear.
"Troublesome. Give me a half hour and I'll be there," he answered before shutting the phone, not bothering to say goodbye. He lifted his eyebrow in question when he heard a snort from Kiba.
Chocolate eyes rolled as Kiba burst out laughing at the situation. Pointedly ignoring the man and not bothering to explain about the mysterious phone call, he turned his attention to Hinata. "Right," he drawled, "I'm assuming you don't have a band, or will you be using these guys?" He pointed to Kiba, who had gathered his bearings, and Shino, who was currently leaning against a wall in the small room.
Hinata furrowed her brow in thought. "That didn't even cross my mind," she stated, unintentionally voicing her thoughts.
"Well?" he asked.
"Give me a minute," she huffed, causing Shikamaru to blink, Shino to smirk, and Kiba to burst into laughter again. Although Kiba knew how to play the guitar and also knew the music, since he helped to create it; but that was only one person compared to what she really needed. Shino knew how to play the drums, but he wouldn't have the time to learn the music. Her…performance was only two weeks away and Shino would be out of town for his cousin's wedding this week. She doubted that they would be with her when she actually recorded the piece, anyway…
Her eyes looked at Shikamaru questioningly causing him to smirk. She was clever indeed.
"Are you auditioning me, Shikamaru-san?" she asked. The man said nothing, but instead handed her an old notebook, though that pretty much answered her question.
She opened and closed her mouth in shock; her cheeks a deep shade of red. Shikamaru made his way out the door, lazily waving his hand in the air as a goodbye.
"I look forward to hearing you, Hinata-san. See you next Friday."
AN/ Please let me know what you guys think…
For those who have read, reviewed, or alerted to me or my work…Thanks so much! I really appreciate it =)
'Till next time,