Hey guys, it's me. Been a while, eh? I'm back. I saw a lot of reviews begging for an update, so here it is. It's shorter than most fanfictions, but I hope y'all like it!
The snow dragged at Naruto's boots, slowing his progress through the snow. He gasped with effort, fighting to maintain his hold on his precious load.
The snow still fell, dotting the trees around the blond shinobi. Twilight was upon Konoha, and night approached rapidly. The temperature dropped accordingly, hardening the snow into an icy concrete.
Naruto's breath steamed out into the air, becoming visible on contact with the colder environment. He was shivering as his body tried to maintain his falling body temperature. His face was flushed from the biting wind and snowflakes.
However, Naruto was more concerned about the unconscious kunoichi he carried in his arms. Her face was taking on a bluer hue. She had stopped shivering shortly after Naruto had sent his clone home, which Naruto knew from training, was a very bad thing.
Naruto took a second every few minutes to check Hinata. He wasn't expecting a speedy recovery as soon as she had been uncovered, but it still worried him that she hadn't responded at all. Her pale skin was still as cold as the unforgiving snow.
He increased his pace.
Naruto finally reached his home street. The light snowfall had grown heavier, now manifesting as a blizzard. It was very rare, especially for the temperate zone that Konoha lay in. Naruto's not-so-secret admirer had chosen a bad evening to be training in the snow.
He really hated the looks of this. The last time it had snowed anywhere near this bad everything had been closed for days, the streets clogged with heaps of snow. He didn't want to make the trek across town in this weather. With Hinata, he was concerned with her getting frostbite, if she hadn't already.
Naruto battled through the drifts to his apartment's stairway. It was already mostly blocked by the accumulating drifts. Naruto had to shift Hinata to one arm to use a minor wind jutsu to clear the passage. Then, shouldering Hinata, he climbed up to his apartment.
His clone met him at the door, wearing a concerned look on his face. "How is she, boss?" he asked, glancing at Hinata.
Naruto looked down at the hypothermic girl cradled in his arms. "She doesn't look so good," he replied, and began to walk to the bathroom, the clone dutifully following. "How's that bath?" Naruto asked.
The clone reached the door and opened it for Naruto in a rare act of courtesy. "Lukewarm as ordered, boss," it replied as it followed Naruto into the cramped bathroom. "You still need me?"
Naruto nodded, setting Hinata down on the lip of the bathtub. "Yeah, just wait outside," he said. "It's gonna be tight in here, but be ready to get some stuff."
Hinata was beginning to stir in response to the house's relative warmth. She began to mutter something indistinct, her head lolling around.
"Hinata, can you hear me?" Naruto said softly. She slowly cocked her head to one side, her eyes half-open.
"N-n…" she faintly said, unable to muster the energy for more than a single syllable. She moved her arms to wrap around her torso. She began shivering slightly, which Naruto took as a good sign.
"Okay, Hinata," he began, mentally flinching at what he had to do. "I'm going to need to get…" he trailed off, and then took a breath. Now, if ever, was the time for uncharacteristic professionalism. "I'm gonna need to get you out of your clothes-" Naruto winced and mentally facepalmed. That sounded perverted, but the sluggish Hyuuga didn't seem to notice or react.
"Okay…" Another breath. "You're going to need a warm bath, okay Hinata? Hinata?" Naruto grabbed her around the waist as she closed her eyes and leaned back, almost toppling into the water.
"Okay…" Naruto said. "Looks like I have to do this alone…"
Naruto disrobed Hinata as quickly as possible, discarding the soggy clothes on the tiled floor. Hinata was left in only her undergarments, shivering from the air on her exposed skin. She leaned unconsciously into Naruto, almost snuggling up into him.
Naruto disentangled himself from her and carefully lowered her into the lukewarm water. Her eyes opened slightly, a moan of discomfort escaping her pale lips.
Naruto gently laid her head on the rear lip of the tub, making sure it was out of the water. He then unzipped his jacket and laid it on the floor. Her then leaned over Hinata and took a hold of her feet, beginning to massage them gently to restore blood flow.
As he did so, Naruto was unable to stop himself from looking over Hinata's body. He had never considered himself to be a luster, far from it! He often went out of his way to avoid being called a pervert. But he couldn't help but admire her.
She was well shaped, no hint of fat anywhere on her body. Her abdomen was hard with muscle, and her limbs also showed signs that she was a hard trainer. Not that he didn't know that already.
He didn't linger on her upper torso, to say the least.
Hinata had a face unlike anything Naruto had seen. She almost looked sad. Not like she was about to cry, but the way her face was shaped. It would make anyone, no matter how cold-blooded they were, want to stop and ask her how she was. But she had a certain serene beauty to her, almost otherworldly. He couldn't pin it down. It made her seem like… a sort of kindred spirit, the kind that you could tell anything to without judgment.
Naruto moved on to her hands. She was beginning to regain much of her color, a very good sign. It was returning equally, with no signs of tissue damage. Her skin ran red, flushing with her returning blood supply. Naruto smiled. That was a good sign.
He returned his attention to her hands. She had the hands of a ninja, no mistake, but they were softer than one would expect. They had calluses and scars, but they weren't hardened like Naruto's.
Hinata began to stir, twisting slightly in the cooling water. Naruto quickly released her hands and moved to her head level. "Hinata?" he murmured softly.
She lifted her head, her eyelids fluttering open.
He had never actually studied her eyes before. He had seen them, but never actually examined them. They weren't the usual Hyuuga's cold grey, but were instead a warm shade of soft lavender. They seemed to exude friendliness and warmth, tempered with humility. They also presently had a hint of confusion, most likely at her current location.
A song lyric came to the front of his mind: the angel opens her eyes.
Hinata's eyes focused slowly, taking in her new location with a large amount of confusion. The last thing she remembered was collapsing in a snowdrift…
She was lying in something warm and wet, sloshing around her. It was very comfortable, especially after the snow… She hadn't expected to wake up at all. Hypothermia was generally fatal. She had been aware of it then, but was too tired to do anything.
The water really felt good against her cool skin.
There didn't seem to be anything between her and the water though…
She forced open her eyes the rest of the way. She was indeed in a bathtub, and minus most of her clothes. She was only clad in her somewhat modest underwear, a sort of bikini. And looking at her with a concerned look in his eyes was none other than…
Naruto Uzumaki. Her longtime crush and love. He was here… and seeing her… like this…
With a weak squeak Hinata re-entered the domain of the unconscious. Naruto let out a shout and lunged to prevent her head from slipping under the water.
So, that's it. You like? If so, please leave a review. I like constructive criticism, so please tell me how to improve!
Now, I do need help. My initial idea fell through after the first chapter, and I need suggestions. If you have any ideas as to how to take it from here, I'm open to them. I may figure it out myself, but input is always welcome. May the odds be ever in your favor, live long and prosper, and Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!