Notes: One-shot. Drabble fic. NaruHina.
Setting: End of Sasuke & Sai Arc.
A/N: This is my first Naruto fanfic, the resulting explosion of dormant productivity that had built up after I procrastinated on writing for an extensive length of time. I'm new to Naruto, having watched the first series and currently in the middle of Shippuden—all within the past two weeks. I'm still learning their personalities, but I decided to portray Hinata a little bit more resilient than she normally is in the series.
"Take off your clothes and come here."
Hinata's heart thundered wildly against her chest as she turned her back to him and, with trembling hands, slowly began to unzip her jacket. She could feel his eyes on her, the intensity of his gaze burning her from behind like a gust of hot wind. Her breathing came out ragged and shallow as she slipped the jacket past her shoulders and discarded the first layer of clothing.
She felt the flush rising to her cheeks when the cool air brushed against her skin through her mesh shirt. Her sandals came off next, followed by a long pause as she fiddled with the belt of her trousers. She was aware that stalling was useless, but she couldn't help thinking twice about what she had agreed to do. It is said that desperation can alter a person's capacity for making uncharacteristic decisions, and she was currently a prime example of that theory.
The art studio was dark and chilly. The only luminescence came in the form of the moonlight streaming in through the large pane windows, giving off a transcendent feel to the space. She could hear various nocturnal animals scurrying around outside, contrasting the silence and stillness surrounding her and the only other occupant in the room.
She gasped when he suddenly came up behind her, sliding his hands around her waist and undoing her belt in one movement. He allowed her trousers to fall to the floor before gripping the hem of her shirt and attempting to yank it up over her head.
"S-Sai-san, I can do it myself," she stammered as her face glowed bright red.
"You're taking too damn long," he murmured against her ear, his hot breath sending shivers down her spine. He successfully removed the mesh fabric and flung it away impatiently.
She was quivering in a mix of fear and anxiety as she stood there with her arms wrapped around herself, wearing only her undergarments. His next touch made her flinch, and she began to panic when he gently moved her long hair over her shoulder so he could undo her bra strap.
Ignoring her, he snapped the hook and tugged at the lacy material in an effort to free it from her chest. When she resisted, he reached down and began lowering her underwear over her hips, which emitted a cry of surprise from the flustered girl. As soon as she moved her arms to stop him, he took advantage of the opening and quickly ripped the garments from her body.
The shock of the action paralyzed her even as the coldness hit her bare skin with full force. He was still standing behind her, his face an impassive mask. She didn't need her Byakugan to know exactly where his line of vision was focusing on.
"Pretty impressive," he remarked at the sight of her full breasts.
She was trying not to hyperventilate at this point. Feeling faint, she hurriedly covered her assets and hunched over while keeping her back to him.
What have I gotten myself into?
He was wasting no time, however, and he grabbed her by the arm and dragged her to the satin-covered bed sitting beneath the largest window in the studio. Before she could utter any sort of sound, he tossed her onto the soft mattress and held her down until she stopped struggling.
"You agreed to this, and I won't let you back out now," he told her, his voice void of emotion. "Don't move."
The warning in his words commanded her to obey, and she gazed into his dark eyes in alarm as he drew her up into a sitting position. His hands were swift as they shifted her limbs into the correct arrangement, each touch adding to the goose bumps on her flesh. Once he was satisfied with her pose, he studied her terrified face for a minute.
Then, leaning forward to bring his lips two inches from her ear, he whispered, "Breathe."
He pulled away from her and walked toward the canvas mounted on the easel. Grabbing the palette and the first paintbrush, he turned to her with the traces of a smile.
"Shall we begin?"
"Hinata-chaaan! Are you feeling okay?" Naruto called, running toward her from the direction of his apartment.
She glanced up with a start, realizing she'd wandered in front of his apartment building while she was lost in her thoughts. "Naruto-kun…"
He trotted up to her, his trademark goofy grin almost blinding on his face. "I saw you from my window, and you looked so out of it. Is your team going on a mission soon?"
Despite her troubled musings, she blushed at his presence. "Um… no… we haven't gotten any recently…"
"Oh. Well, how are you doing? You look like you're about to fall asleep standing up," Naruto pressed. He took in the dark circles around her eyes and her limp posture.
She only shook her head, far too tired to react in her usual bashful manner around him. "I've just been staying up late recently. But I'm fine, Naruto-kun."
He stared at her skeptically. "You look really troubled, though. Has anything happened between you and your family again?"
She stiffened slightly at that. "Well…" Catching herself, she quickly retracted the affirmative. "No, no, I mean… it's really just that I've been staying up late. That's all…"
"What've you been staying up late for?"
"Oh… um… I suppose Sai-san hasn't told you, but he's painting me for an art competition that's coming up," she replied. The reminder of that first night brought even more heat to her face, and it was all she could do to keep from passing out right there with Naruto standing in front of her while that particular memory was circulating in her mind.
"Painting you?" Naruto tilted his head to the side, taking a few seconds to register that. "So he's painting you late at night? How come?"
Hinata swallowed nervously and fought down the urge to flee what she perceived was an interrogation. "I-It's for the setting. The scene of the painting is supposed to take place in the night…"
"Ehh?" Naruto crossed his arms and brought up a hand to pinch his chin in a contemplative gesture. "I was wondering what that guy has been up to since we got back to the village…"
Clearly, he had no clue what was going on, and Hinata was inclined on keeping it that way. The last thing she needed to top off her problems was her crush finding out that she was modeling nude for his Sasuke-replacement teammate, whom he just recently started getting along with. She wasn't entirely certain how Naruto would react if he knew the truth, but knowing her luck and past history with the incredibly dense boy, it would hardly be in her favor.
He was still zoned out when she decided to excuse herself, hoping to avoid further questioning.
"I-I should be going. I'll see you later, Naruto-kun," she said, already hurrying away.
He blinked and watched her disappear around the corner. "Eh? Hinata?"
Although the Hyuuga prodigy had sensed Naruto coming from a mile away, he hadn't been prepared to have his eardrums raped by the deafening volume of the younger boy's voice. As a result, he began to choke on his ramen.
"Neji! Allow me to save you using the power of youth!" the ever-enthusiastic Lee exclaimed, hopping from his seat and clapping a hand on his teammate's back.
The other patrons of Ichiraku, including Tenten, gaped in horror at the sudden calamity in the restaurant as Lee continued to thump Neji's spinal column with enough force to rattle it. The food dislodged on the sixth attempt, and Neji recovered so quickly that Naruto barely had time to blink before he found himself dangling two feet off the ground by the front of his shirt.
"It's only once in a while that I come out to eat ramen." Neji's voice dripped with deadly venom, his grip tightening on Naruto's tracksuit. "This had better be a life or death situation for you to be shrieking my name like a banshee."
"But Neji!" the blonde boy retorted, paying no attention to the fact that he was teetering on the edge of danger. "Do you know if anything's happened between Hinata and her father again?"
At the mention of his cousin, Neji's wrath dissipated enough for him to drop Naruto and return to his seat. "Hinata-sama?" he mused as he picked up his chopsticks and stirred them around his bowl of ramen thoughtfully. "All I know is that he gave her an ultimatum last week. He kicked her out of the main house and told her to come back only when she's 'achieved something exceptional.' Currently, she's staying with me until she figures out what he meant by that."
Naruto looked visibly upset by the news, but a light bulb flashed above his head a moment later. "Oh! So that must be why she's Sai's subject for his painting. She said something about an art competition… maybe if they win, she can take that back to her father."
The members of Team Gai immediately froze. Tenten and Lee exchanged appalled glances while the blood drained out of Neji's face. Naruto observed their reactions in confusion.
"What? What's wrong?"
"Could it be that you're always the one out of the loop, Naruto?" Tenten asked in exasperation.
"Everyone in the village knows that Sai's entry for the competition is Ultraspectral," Lee declared. "And that means—"
"His model is a nude female," Neji finished, sounding quite traumatized. "Hinata-sama agreed to such a thing…?"
However, the individual most shocked by the revelation was Naruto.
The cold metal chains were heavy on her delicate frame. She had been in that position for an hour now, gazing despondently at the artist as his eyes roamed over her naked form to transfer the image onto the canvas. Her leg was beginning to fall asleep.
"Um… Sai-san… could I take a break soon?" she inquired timidly.
"Twenty minutes," he replied, deep in concentration.
She sighed and allowed her thoughts to wander to the anticipated results of this endeavor. From what Sai had said, this art competition was apparently a major event. It included not only Konoha, but also the other hidden villages. If Sai's painting won, both artist and model would gain a prestigious award among the shinobi art world. She could only imagine her father's expression once he found out that thousands of eyes had seen, through the painting, the naked body of his oldest daughter—the rightful heiress to the Hyuuga Clan.
But he wanted "something exceptional," right?
Suddenly, the door to the studio flew open and a blur of orange and black shot straight toward the shinobi working in front of the easel.
"SAI, YOU BASTARD!" screamed a familiar voice that made Hinata's heart skip a beat.
Sai dodged the attack with relative ease and sent the intruder a pleasant smile. "Why, Naruto… to what do I owe the pleasure?"
The figure facing him was surrounded by swarming chakra. "You… what are you doing to Hinata?"
"Painting her," Sai responded simply. "If you don't believe me, you can see for yourself."
Hinata was unable to move as Naruto turned to look at her. As soon as he did, his burning chakra disappeared like a doused flame.
She looked breathtakingly stunning sitting on the satin sheets, the moonlight streaming through the window to engulf her in a surreal glow. The chains, hooked up to the ceiling, encircled her torso and held up her arms in a graceful arch over her head. Her long tresses fell around her shoulders and only partially covered her, leaving nothing to the imagination.
A gush of blood spurted from Naruto's nose before he keeled over and promptly hit the floor with a loud THUD, out cold.
"Na… Naruto-kun?" Hinata squeaked, struck by the realization that the long-standing object of her affections had just witnessed the sight of her completely au natural.
A full thirty seconds passed in dead silence. Then…
For the next few days, Hinata avoided Naruto like the plague. She utilized her position as the Hyuuga heiress for the first time ever to order Neji to prevent Naruto from entering the Hyuuga compound whenever he came knocking. She didn't venture out of Neji's home except to head to the art studio in the evenings, and she had organized for Sai to escort her both ways to keep Naruto at bay.
The persistence with which Naruto attempted to interfere with the project did surprise her, but she was far too embarrassed and ashamed to read into it extensively. It would have been one thing for Naruto to see the finished painting, but it was entirely another for him to see her nude in person. Any coping mechanisms she might have possessed had immediately shattered after that night.
Once she and Sai were in the studio, they had to divide their time between working and fending off Naruto's efforts to break in. No matter how many traps they set outside, he always eventually made his way in to pick a fight with Sai, and they'd have to call it a night while Hinata hastily made her escape. This slowed the progress on the painting tremendously, and she began to worry that they wouldn't be able to finish the piece in time.
During this particular session, it had been eerily quiet. They had yet to be disrupted, and neither of them could sense Naruto's presence nearby.
"Your posture is too tense, Hinata," Sai remarked, his brow furrowing as he glanced at the canvas.
"Oh… sorry…" She shifted a little in the hopes of easing her stiff muscles.
Still not satisfied, he stood up and slowly approached her with the aura of a predator. She watched him as he came closer, wary of the dark glint in his eyes. He came to stop at the foot of the bed and leaned toward her until his lips hovered mere centimeters from hers. She began to struggle against the chains—a futile effort—as he reached forward and ran his fingers through her hair.
The expression on his face was indeterminable. "If you can't relax," he said in a deep, suggestive baritone, "should I loosen you up?"
She drew in a sharp intake of breath as he began to pull her to him.
At that moment, a crash behind him broke the atmosphere. Smirking, he straightened up and calmly turned around to meet a pair of angry blue eyes.
"Naruto. You have awful timing, you know that?"
The blonde shinobi was clearly livid. "I take back every good thing I said and thought about you!" he proclaimed heatedly, pointing a finger directly at his teammate. "Let Hinata go!"
Sai disregarded that and instead looked around the space. "How'd you manage to get in this time?" His gaze finally found the large hole in the ceiling. "Ah…"
"Hey, asshole! I'm talking to you!"
"No need to shout," Sai said, waving him off dismissively. "Quite frankly, I'm tired of you interrupting us when we're busy. What is it that you want, exactly? Besides to take away my model, that is?"
"Paint me instead!" Naruto yelled.
Sai stared at him, incredulous. "What?"
"I'll model nude for you!"
Hinata was horrified beyond speech.
"Uh… no. Even though I acknowledge that you're not dickless after all, that thing between your legs is way too puny to win me any art competitions, much less this major one coming up," Sai said, running a hand over his face wearily.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" In a flash, no fewer than twenty Naruto clones filled the room.
"Summoning several clones isn't going to add together and make up for your dick size," Sai's mask slipped a little as his complexion took on a green hue. "And anyway, I'd rather not paint naked guys. That's just disgusting."
But Naruto had something else in mind.
"Harem no Jutsu!"
Both Sai and Hinata's jaws fell open at the sight of the buxom female Narutos, all chorusing, "Please, Sai-kun~ …paint me!" Half of them surrounded Sai and rubbed up against him, rendering him temporarily immobile. The other half, seemingly immune to the sight of a naked girl while they were in female form, pounced on the bed and began undoing the chains around Hinata. As the threat of failing to finish the painting became a very real possibility, she finally brought her vocal cords back to life.
The clones paused long enough for Sai to snap out of the jutsu's effects. Wiping off the drool that had begun to leak from his mouth, he cleared his throat and pried himself from their grasp.
"Look, Naruto, we really have to get back to work," he said seriously.
Naruto's temper sailed toward the breaking point as he dismissed the clones and returned to normal. "I'm not going to sit back and let you exploit Hinata like this. Either put some clothes on her or find another model!" He made the mistake of glancing at her and instantly broke out into another nosebleed.
She was trying desperately not to succumb to an anxiety attack.
"I'm afraid I can't accommodate either of those demands," Sai stated. He walked back toward the easel, passing by the motionless bleeding boy. "Hinata's the most beautiful girl in the village—which is saying something, coming from me—and the theme of my painting requires her to be nude. Plus, she consented to this, if you didn't already know."
Naruto managed to pull himself together enough to wipe his nose on his sleeve and grab a nearby blanket. Rushing to Hinata, he draped it over her and wrapped her up tightly.
"Hinata, you don't have to do this. Neji told me about what happened with your father, but I can help you think of something else. You don't have to hang around this pervert all night!" he cried, spazzing out.
Something in his voice tugged at her, and she felt a warm feeling swiftly replacing her unease as he continued to stare at her frantically. "Naruto-kun…"
Her embarrassment washed away with the earnest tide, and she found that she could gaze straight into his eyes, unblinking. He, in turn, appeared to reach an epiphany as a flush colored his cheeks, marking the first time he was the one blushing out of the two of them. She saw this and, forgetting the tremulous past few days, smiled happily at him.
Sai witnessed the exchange between them, slowly coming up with an idea. "Naruto."
The blonde boy broke eye contact with Hinata and turned to shoot him a dirty look.
"She's already invested this much time and effort into this project. To make her quit now would be a waste, and I don't think that's what she wants." Sai pulled out a chair next to his by the easel. "If you're so worried about her, it might be a good idea for you to sit in while we finish the painting."
Naruto watched him warily, but didn't respond.
"Remove the blanket from Hinata."
Naruto glared at him.
"Just do it and get over here. You'll see what I mean," Sai ordered impatiently.
"Naruto-kun." Hinata's timid tone redirected his attention to her. "I-it's all right. Please take off the blanket."
The mood in the studio was suddenly deep and somber. Naruto regarded her solemnly before complying. As the blanket fell away, he again felt the full impact of the vision before him, staggered by the glow of her bare alabaster skin. It wasn't the same as attempting to peek into the female bath with Jiraiya during their travels, nor was it the same as seeing himself perform Sexy no Jutsu. Even if she had been fully dressed, simply observing her under the moonlit window was enough to stop any man's heart.
"Tch," he cursed as his nose began to drip blood again.
"All right, Naruto, sit in this seat," Sai instructed, handing him a tissue as he came over to sit in the vacant chair. "I know you have a problem with her posing as a nude model, but try to see past just her body and take the whole picture into account."
Naruto pressed the tissue against his nose and cautiously glanced up.
Sai picked up his palette and paintbrush and positioned himself in front of the canvas. "Look at her."
And he was blown away.
Her pearl eyes pinned him with the veiled passion stirring in their depths, lashes lowered and rose lips parted. The reddening of her visage stemmed from ardor rather than shyness, and her breathing had changed to slight panting as she continued to lock gazes with him. Her posture was more sensual than before, accentuating her full figure as the moonlight glided over her curves. She made the slightest movement to push her breasts out forward in seeming anticipation of an invisible hand's ministrations.
It was as if his gaze alone was making love to her.
"And we're finished," Sai announced.
The painting had come out better than he'd thought, and he silently congratulated himself on his ingenuity. Once Naruto and Hinata had set aside their awkwardness and reservations, she had been able to display the emotion he most wanted to capture on canvas: love. Although he didn't understand that feeling himself yet, he was certain her expression had demonstrated the most visual and powerful manifestation of it. And he had Naruto to thank.
Speaking of which…
The aforementioned shinobi was still gawking in awe at Hinata, lost in her spell. Sai chuckled and stood from his seat, stretching. Then he grabbed a set of keys and tossed them at Naruto, who caught them reflexively with one hand without taking his eyes off the girl still chained on the bed.
Bending down, Sai whispered, "I thought you were interested in Sakura."
"Who?" Naruto asked monotonously.
Sai grinned and headed for the door.
"Ah… Sai-san…" Hinata started.
He turned around and jerked his head toward the other male. "He'll be able to help you out of those chains. I'll be in contact to let you know how the competition went." With that, he stepped outside and shut the door firmly behind him.
Hinata's eyes flickered to Naruto, who hadn't moved from his seat. When the silence dragged on, she began to feel self-conscious as he maintained his line of vision on her body. But at the same time, her heart was racing in exhilaration and desire. Before tonight, she would have passed out from these circumstances. Something had changed between them earlier; they both could feel it. She'd never believed he would ever remotely return the infatuation she felt for him, and she hoped against hope that she wasn't dreaming.
"Naruto-kun?" she asked.
He was immediately jolted out of his trance, jumping to his feet and almost dropping the keys. "Oh, right, right… the ch-chains…"
He approached her on unsteady legs. Fumbling with the keys, he tried in vain to focus on finding the right one instead of staring at her. It was a most difficult task, as he couldn't help eyeing the alluring beauty of her pose. She was a living work of art.
Eventually, he became frustrated enough to simply fling the keys away and lean over her, planting his hands on either side of her on the bed. Their pulses pounding, they felt the draw of enticement pull them together. The heat of his body warmed her as her breath caught in her throat.
"Hinata… I don't know what's come over me…" he said softly, closing the distance between them.
No longer restrained by bashfulness or fear, she surrendered to the temptation of his kiss. And as the night wore on, with his lips leaving trails of fire over her skin and his fingers delving inside her to claim the untouched fruit, the studio was filled with the sound of the clinking chains.
Sai watched the new couple heading toward the Hyuuga compound, a large trophy cradled in Hinata's arms.
Neji came to stand beside him, hands in his pockets. "You planned all this from the start, didn't you?"
Sai laughed quietly. "I read in a book that getting your friend together with a crush would be good for your friendship. Even though he refuses to forgive me for seeing his girl naked before he did."
"So that's why you approached Hinata-sama specifically to be your model," Neji concluded. "Knowing Naruto wasn't as platonic of a friend toward her as he seemed to be. Looks like it worked out."
"Yeah, although I had to burn the sheets in my studio the next morning," Sai told him, cringing.
Neji shared a similar expression. "Well, at least getting first place in the art competition should satisfy her father's ultimatum. Just make sure the painting's not distributed so he doesn't see it."
Sai's eyes widened and he faced the Hyuuga prodigy with a sheepish look. "Uh… about that…"
Those three opening words could not bode good news. Neji braced himself.
"Hiashi-san happens to be a big fan of my work… and I heard he was the highest bidder on that painting when it was up for auction earlier today…" Sai said weakly. "I didn't even think about that…"
An ominous air loomed over the two shinobi as they turned apprehensively to face the direction of the Hyuuga compound. In unison, they uttered one word that came to mind.
A/N: An all-out drabble fic, as I'm tentatively testing the waters in this fandom. Any feedback or critique would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading!