"So you ready to head back yet?" Naruto asked.

"I suppo…se so…." She trailed off.

"What's wrong?"

"What am I supposed to wear on the way back?

xxxxxxxxxx

I can't wear the dress, and your shirt is ripped, and what do I cover my bottom half with?"

"Well, you were wearing the dress like a skirt earlier, can't you do that again?"

She just shook her head, "I tried, but the only way I could get it to stay like that was to hold it."

They both lapsed into silence again, each trying to think up a method for Hinata to be decent when they returned to the village.

"I don't think there's anything we can do. You'll just have to go without."

"I can't do that! What happens if my father finds out I was wandering around the village in my underwear?"

"Hinata, its pitch dark right now. The only way someone's going to see you is if you walk under a street light. Hell, you're sitting in my lap and I can barely see your feet. As long as we don't walk right next to anybody, no one will ever know."

It took another half hour, and a lot of convincing, but Hinata eventually agreed to the plan. She took Naruto's shirt and tied it on, leaving the bra in the basket, as it was much too cold for her to want to put it back on, and slowly began to follow Naruto back to the village.

Once they got close to the gate, they prepared the first part of the plan. Hinata wrapped her arms around Naruto's neck, and he slipped his arms under her thighs, carrying her on his back. The position of his hands made both of them blush furiously, as they were only a few inches from….a certain place, but they tried to ignore it.

"Halt!" the gate guard called out, "State your name and reason for being here."

Naruto just flared his chakra a little, and replied, "Chunin Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Hinata, and we're going home."

"Naruto?" the guard asked, even though it was impossible to fake his chakra signature, "Just sign in and you're free to go."

"Can you do it for me? Hinata fell asleep and we're both really wet and cold." This was the dangerous part of the plan. Naruto had to convince the guard to not approach them too closely.

"You know I'm not supposed to do that, right?" the guard replied.

Naruto glared at the guard, "Do you want to explain to her father that the reason his daughter is sick is because I had to drop her in a puddle so I could sign us in?"

The guard just paled. Hyuuga Hiashi is not a man you want angry at you. "Ahh…no, I'll sign you in."

"Thanks!" Naruto called out as they entered the village, taking to the rooftops as soon as he could to stay in the dark.

xxxxxxxxxx

Hinata was nervous from the outset, as she was risking a lot more than Naruto was, in more ways than one. Not only did she have to deal with the nervousness of being half naked in public, she had the reputations of both herself and her clan to consider.

Despite that, she found herself almost enjoying the trip through the woods wearing nothing but her panties and Naruto's ripped shirt. It was…oddly liberating, in a way. If it weren't for the abject terror of being discovered, she actually thought she might like it.

Those feelings didn't really change once they got close to the gate, though she was more nervous. No longer could she hide behind the picnic basket, as she had to pretend to be asleep on Naruto's back. Her nerves jumped even higher when she felt his hands curl under her thighs, as she hadn't expected them to be so close to her core.

The worst part for her, though, was discovering that she was actually getting turned on by their trip in the dark. Her first thought was that something was wrong with her, since she didn't think that she should feel that way. Still, the thrilling feeling persisted, despite her attempts to ignore it.

It briefly went away while Naruto was talking to the guard, as she was absolutely terrified during those moments, but as soon as they were past it immediately made itself known again. She could feel it building in her gut, coiling tighter and tighter.

It was also making her nipples hard again, and her face went very red as she was certain that Naruto could feel them pressing into his back.

Naruto could feel them, but for her sake he didn't acknowledge it. He knew she was embarrassed enough without him mentioning something like that. Besides, if he were to say something, then she might stop pressing herself so tightly to his back, and he didn't want that. Not only was he finding that he liked having her chest pressed into his back, but he also found a strange warmth seeping into his body whenever they were pressed together so closely.

However, Naruto wasn't able to concentrate on that warm feeling as much as he wanted to because Hinata's thighs were getting to be incredibly warm themselves. His hands weren't the only distraction either. His nose was starting to pick up the same scent from when they had been kissing in the clearing.

As soon as Naruto realized what that particular scent meant, he had to fight off a blush of his own. See, among the things his dearly departed master had taught him, though even death threats wouldn't get him to admit it, was women. Now, the old pervert wasn't obvious about it. No, what he did was to first teach Naruto how to read people in general, and then, after Naruto would drag him out of a brothel or some such similar location, he would quiz the boy on what he saw there.

And the best part for Jiraiya was that Naruto didn't realize it until they were on their way back to Konoha.

Anyway, Naruto was immensely glad that Hinata was on his back, and therefore unable to feel the rampaging hard-on he had in front of him. It was so hard that it was actually somewhat hindering his ability to walk properly, though Hinata didn't seem to notice.

Which was a good thing, as he had to circle the village twice while firmly trying to imagine what ol' Sarutobi looked like naked to get it back under control. Yeah, not a pleasant thought, but that's what it took.

He was just thankful that he didn't need to go to the next level.

Which was infinitely more disturbing.

And youthful.

Naruto actually had to stop for a moment and slam his head into a wall when that thought occurred. Some things are not meant to be thought, after all.

Unfortunately, Hinata noticed him slam his head into the wall, which was right outside his apartment, and asked him about it.

"Hinata, some things are just not meant to be thought about. I was starting to think about one of those things. And no, you really, really don't want to know what I'm talking about."

Hinata was very thoroughly confused by that point, but decided to let it go, in favor of resting her head on his shoulder again while he climbed the stairs to his apartment.

Xxxxxxxx

Once they were inside, though she had no idea how he managed to open the door without putting her down, he let her slide off his back and wandered through the dark apartment to find them some towels to dry off with.

She heard him going through a couple drawers in the dark, and felt around for the light switch, figuring the light would help him. Once the light came on, she saw that he had wrapped a towel around his head and was in the process of drying his hair out while crossing the room back to where she was.

She watched him open his eyes, take one or two steps towards her, and then saw his eyes widen dramatically before he quickly turned away from her.

"Naruto-kun? Are you ok? Why won't you look at me?"

Still not looking at her, Naruto replied, "Hinata, you're soaking wet, and only wearing my thin white shirt and your underwear. I don't want to see things you aren't ready for me to see yet. That's why I left the light off when we came in."

He then shuffled the rest of the way over to her, still not looking. "You've come a long way out of your shell today, and I don't want to push you any farther than you're willing to go. I don't want to do anything that will make you uncomfortable."

Hinata of course had immediately turned red as soon as Naruto reminded her of what she was and was not wearing, and instantly realized that he had looked away to spare her the embarrassment. She took the towel he was offering as soon as she could reach it and quickly wrapped it around herself.

"I….it's ok now, you can look."

Naruto slowly cracked one eye open, and upon realizing it was safe, slowly opened his eyes fully, though he seemed slightly uncomfortable standing in front of her.

She noticed this, and asked him about it.

"Nervous? Err, no, not really. Well, not anymore than any other guy would be in this situation," he replied, mumbling the last part.

"Hm? What do you mean?"

"I live alone," he replied, "and there's a really wet half-naked pretty girl standing in my doorway that I'm about to ask to spend the night. That's what I mean. Gah! I didn't mean it like that! I mean, I was going to ask you if you wanted to spend the night here, because it's still raining, and you'd just get all wet again going across the village to your clan, which you can't do anyway, because your dress is still ripped."

Hinata almost fell over when he finished the first sentence. 'He thinks I'm pretty? And he wants me to spend the night?' By the time he finished she was starting to hyperventilate, and was leaning heavily against the wall in order to remain standing.

Having recently learned the signs of an imminent Hinata-faint, Naruto grabbed her shoulders, and looked her right in the eye. "Come on, Hinata, I didn't say anything that out of the ordinary. Besides, I thought you got over this fainting thing during the war…"

Hinata just mumbled something while her breathing slowed down. "Pretty? Yeah, I think you're pretty. I'm sure lots of other guys do too," he told her, his cheeks pinking slightly.

Her breathing now under control, she wrapped her arms around him, pulling him in for a hug, "Thank you, Naruto-kun."

"For what? Telling the truth? Anyway, let me go grab you something dry to put on while you go take a shower before you get a cold. I really don't want to have to tell your father that you got sick while being out with me."

The thought of Naruto, who was quite possibly the most powerful ninja alive right then, being afraid of her father pulled a giggle from her, and she let him lead her to the bathroom.

"Yes, I am aware that I could probably beat him in a fight, but he still scares the shit out of me every time I see him," he told her while digging through his dresser for something that might fit her. "That man has a glare that could scare Kyuubi." He eventually came out with an old pair of sweatpants that were too small for him, along with an old shirt, and gave them to her.

"Here, these should fit you. Towels are in that cabinet."

Xxxxxxxxxx

While she was in the shower, he boiled some water, and made some instant ramen. Once that was consumed, more water was boiled, this time for some tea. The kettle started to whistle again just as she came out of the bathroom, and he actually had to force himself to look away before he got caught staring.

'Wow… she looks good in my clothes… Gah! Damn you Ero-sennin! I can't believe I let you corrupt me without even realizing it!'

"Alright. There's water in the kettle if you want some tea or something, and if you throw your wet stuff in the dryer I'll start it once I'm done in the shower. Anything else you need?"

"Ummm…not really…..just…."

"Hm? Just what?"

"Well, the ankles of these pants are kind of tight…"

Naruto finally looked at her properly, and realized that the ankles of the sweatpants were currently resting in the middle of her shins. "Oh, sorry. Uh….ah! Here's some scissors. Feel free to do whatever you want to the pair you have on, since they don't fit me anymore. If that doesn't work, there's more pants in the dresser."

Xxxxxxxxxx

Exiting the bathroom after his shower, Naruto found Hinata sitting on his small couch finishing a glass of tea, and he noticed that she had trimmed the legs of the sweatpants enough so that they were more shorts than pants, as the legs ended just above her knees.

He was about to ask her something, but was prevented from doing so by a loud burst of thunder, the lightning from which must have hit the power plant or something, because it knocked the power out.

Hinata was startled by the sudden darkness, but the room was quickly lit up by a soft blue glow, and she looked over to find Naruto standing by the bathroom door, holding a rasengan in his hand, which was providing the illumination.

"Dammit," he mumbled as he walked into the kitchen and began fumbling through a couple drawers. He returned a few moments later with a lit candle, and spoke to his guest.

"Damn storm," he mumbled, "Anyway, you can have the bed, and I'll take the couch. Let me-"

"No! I can't do that! This is your home, I'll sleep on the couch."

"I can't let you do that, Hinata. Besides, it gets pretty cold in here at night when the power's out, and I don't want you to catch a chill."

"Wouldn't you be cold then?"

"Nah, I got Kyuubi to keep me warm. Now go get in the bed. I'm not going to let my guest sleep on the couch."

Hinata just sighed, and followed him to the bedroom. On the way, she asked, "Why does it get so cold in here? I thought this was one of the new buildings."

"It is," he replied. His old apartment had been destroyed by Pein, and the one he was in now was built right before the war. "They just built it really fast, since like everyone was homeless then, and didn't insulate it very well. It was summer then too, so it didn't matter as much. Now that it's into the colder months, it can get a bit chilly if the heat isn't on."

"….And since the power is out, you have no heat."

"Yeah. They're working on fixing it, but the priority right now is families with babies and small children and old people, since they can't handle the cold as well as everyone else. Besides, I've been to Snow Country before, and had to camp there in a tent."

"It's Spring Country now," Hinata replied, "And you must've been freezing."

"Like I said, the Kyuubi keeps me plenty warm," he told her, as he went about changing his sheets, "Was kinda funny seeing Sasuke and Sakura all wrapped up together to keep warm though."

Hinata chuckled a little at that remark. Sasuke's dislike of his fangirls was legendary, and for him to willingly curl up with one must've meant he was REALLY F-ING COLD.

Not knowing a good follow up, Hinata let the room fall into silence while she helped Naruto put clean sheets on his bed, and made sure that he had a blanket of his own for the night. They parted with an awkward good night, and she curled up in his bed while she listened to him clean up the kitchen, before laying down himself.

Xxxxxxxxxx

Despite being a little tired from the day's events, Naruto didn't fall asleep for a while after he lied down. He just couldn't get his mind off of how far Hinata had come out of her shell that day. Seeing her in a dress instead of her usual outfit was surprising enough, and he actually thought she would pass out again when she put her head on his stomach after they ate.

To think that he had then got her to play in the rain in just her underwear not too long after that blew his mind, not even mentioning the fact that she had sat in his lap while completely topless shortly after that.

Oh, and he kissed her. And his…almost confession. And then she kissed him…gah, he needed to talk to Iruka as soon as he dropped Hinata off at her clan compound in the morning. That would certainly help him sort through the jumbled mess his feelings were at the moment.

With the next day's plan of action set, he let the still present thunderstorm lull him to sleep.

For a couple hours, anyway.

A particularly loud blast of thunder woke him up, and he listened to the storm rumble for a while, until a lull in the noise allowed him to notice another, subtler sound that the thunder had been drowning out.

'Is that…whimpering?' he thought as he cast his eyes around the dark interior of his apartment. He was close to locating the source of the strange noise when another blast of thunder rocked the building, and he strained his senses to the limit as the rumble died down.

'Yeah, I heard it clearly that time, its definitely some kind of whimpering noise…'

Centering himself, he entered Sage Mode and searched for what the noise could've come from. Even though the walls of his building were quite thin, he knew that sound would only carry so far, and noted that the only sources close enough for him to hear were Hinata, and an ANBU standing on his roof.

'Ok, no ANBU I've ever heard of would be making that kind of noise, not unless they were being tortured, which leaves….Hinata…maybe a nightmare then?'

He got up from the couch, and faded out of Sage Mode as he quietly padded his way across the room, paying no heed to the chill on his bare chest, and slowly opened the door to his bedroom. Peeking around the door, he saw that Hinata was still asleep, though the tangle of blankets she was wrapped up in told him that hadn't been a very restful one.

As he crept closer, the lightning flashes revealed glimpses of her face, which only confirmed his nightmare theory. Being in the same room also let him hear her whimpering noises, which were almost constant as she began to toss and turn again.

When he got close enough he sat on the edge of the bed and gently touched her shoulder to try and wake her up, but she recoiled from his touch almost as if she had been struck.

"Come on, Hinata, wake up," he said quietly, as he shook her again, "It's just a nightmare, you're okay."

Just then, another bolt of lightning struck, this one rattling the windows with its power. It was loud enough to send Hinata out of her nightmare, and she went flying into Naruto's arms, grabbing on to him for dear life.

He could feel her nails digging into his back, but paid no attention to it, instead choosing to gently run his hands up and down her back, calming her down as she continued to gasp for air.

"Shh, you're okay now, it was just a nightmare. You're safe now, nothing can hurt you here," he whispered into her ear, "It's just a nightmare, nothing's gonna hurt you."

Once her breathing slowed, she pulled back from him, and dropped her hands into her lap, with Naruto's remaining on her shoulders.

"Naruto-kun?" she whispered out, still coming to grips with her nightmare.

"You okay, Hinata? You were having a nightmare…"

"I… I'm fine, Naruto-kun."

"Are you sure? Do you want to talk about it?"

She shook her head, but didn't otherwise reply.

"Alright; I'll be o-"

"Will," she whispered out, cutting him off, "Will you…stay?"

"Hina…ta…"

"Being near someone else helps keep the nightmares away," she replied quietly. "Please?"

Naruto didn't immediately answer; instead taking a moment to study her. The next flash of lightning lit up her face for the briefest instant, but it was enough for him to decide.

"Of course," he replied. Seeing her looking so vulnerable while sitting in his bed… it changed something in him. He just couldn't not do it, regardless of what anyone else would think if they found out.

"I'll be right back, okay?" Hinata just nodded, and settled back into the covers.

Naruto returned a few seconds later, the blanket from the couch bunched up in front of him. He swung his feet onto the bed, and positioned himself next to her, though he was still on top of the blankets. He flung the couch blanket over both of them, and she curled up on the other side of the bed, facing him.

"Will this work?" he asked her. She just nodded her head again, and he decided to ask another question. "Do you have a lot of nightmares?"

"Sometimes," she murmured, "though Kurenai-sensei or Hanabi-chan are usually around when they happen."

"Hanabi?"

"My sister. We shared a room while the compound was being rebuilt, and it wasn't until I had to sleep apart from her that I realized how bad my nightmares were," she told him. "It doesn't seem to matter who is near, though the more I trust them the weaker the nightmares seem to be."

"Well, I hope you get a good night's sleep tonight then," he replied.

"I'm sure I'll be fine, Naruto-kun."

Xxxxxxxxxx

A few hours later, Naruto was woken up by the power coming back on, and he sleepily shuffled his way out in the other room to turn the lights off, before returning to bed. Flipping back the blankets, he slid in next to the still sleeping heiress, and quickly rejoined her in unconsciousness.

Xxxxxxxxxx

Despite the fact that the man she loved was sleeping not more than a few inches from her, Hinata returned to one of her usual nightmares upon falling asleep again.

Well, that's not entirely accurate. The setting was the same, the cast was the same, the time of day, the weather, everything was the same as her nightmare, but…it wasn't scary.

It was like…one of those spoof movies that mock the stereotypes in horror films. It wasn't exactly funny, but it wasn't exactly terrifying either. It was more confusing than anything, really, as she knew what usually happened in this particular nightmare, and the major events still happened, but the interactions between everyone was…wrong.

So wrong, in fact, that it eventually woke her up.

'That was…weird,' she thought to herself upon waking. 'I don't think I've ever had a dream like that before… maybe I'll tell Hanabi about it some time, she might find it funny.'

That thought completed, her mind drifted off to the next most pressing topic. 'I wonder where Naruto-kun got his pillows… They're quite warm and comfortable…and they smell good,' she thought while allowing the heartbeat coming from her pillow to begin lulling her back asleep. She then stretched a little, and moved her feet into a more comfortable position while tightening her grip on her pillow.

'I really have to ask him about those pillows…and that strange lump in the mattress…it feels like a foot…and a leg? Naruto-kun sure has weird tastes in mattresses…'

Her thoughts were then interrupted by a voice.

"Hinata?"

"Hmmm?" she replied, still mostly asleep.

"I need you to let go of me."

"Dun wanna," she mumbled back, "'sides, m'holdn pillow."

Next, she heard a sigh, followed by a chakra pulse, then another pulse, this one closer, followed by quiet again. She was just about to drift back to sleep after a few minutes of this new quiet when she felt another chakra pulse under her, followed by one next to her.

She felt something on her back, and as it began to gently move up and down her spine, she cracked her eyes open to take in her surroundings. She tilted her head back, and found herself face-to-face with the man she had spent the previous day with.

"Good morning, Hinata."

She just blinked a couple times, trying to get her brain to assess the situation. Sleep-fogged though it was, her mind eventually began to tell her what happened the previous day.

She had gone on a picnic with Naruto-kun. She had decided to go a little ways out of her normal comfort zone during said picnic, and wore a dress instead of her usual outfit. They had amusing conversation about being ambushed. They sparred. She cut his shirt, and he cut her dress. He saw her scars, and she feared rejection.

But he still accepted her, and showed her some of his own. He had then dragged her out to play in the rain like a child, and she had enjoyed it immensely. And then…..

And then…..she had fallen on top of him, and they kissed. And Naruto had almost confessed to her. And then they kissed…again, and she had been overwhelmed by the feelings it caused to shoot through her. And after that….

Still staring up at Naruto, she felt her face heat up as she recalled what she had done while sitting in his lap the previous day.

'I can't believe that I sat in his lap completely topless! And he was such a gentleman about it too!'

That wasn't the only thing she did that was embarrassing either, she remembered. Naruto had managed to convince her to return to the village wearing nothing but his shirt and her panties. Thinking back on it she was surprised she didn't die of shock.

It had been storming on their return, and Naruto had offered to let her stay at his place for the night, and to also try and find a way to fix her dress so that she would be presentable when she returned to her clan compound in the morning.

Which led to her current situation; waking up in the arms of the man she loved, and, hopefully, the arms of a man who loved her in return.

"You ok, Hinata? You've been staring at me for a couple minutes now."

Snapping out of her memories, she responded, "H-hai. Good morning, Naruto-kun."

AN: so that's part two. i realize it ends in an odd place, but i havent decided how the rest of the morning should play out, as this story was written spur of the moment, more or less, and theres no notes to go with it. so, that being said, until i get more inspiration for this particular plot line, this is where the story ends. i'm not going to mark it complete, since it isnt, but dont plan on there being an update to it any time soon.