To temper:

1. To modify by the addition of a moderating element; moderate: "temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom"

2. To bring to a desired consistency, texture, hardness, or other physical condition by or as if by blending, admixing, or kneading: temper clay; paints that had been tempered with oil.

3. To harden or strengthen (metal or glass) by application of heat or by heating and cooling.

4. To strengthen through experience or hardship; toughen: soldiers who had been tempered by combat.

5. To adjust finely; attune: a portfolio that is tempered to the investor's needs.



Naruto and Hinata's thoughts the first time they saw each other were mirrored perfectly.

Naruto was a chaotic force, young, wild, and free. Everything he was and everything he did had a purpose, but it was in a way that you couldn't tell, where everything he did seemed the work of a hedonist. He just wanted to have fun, to smile and laugh and be the kind of guy that people looked up to.

Hinata was gentle force, quiet, reserved, and shy. Everything she did had a purpose, but it was hidden behind her glassy eyes and nervous fingers. She just wanted to be left alone or befriended, to smile and laugh and be the kind of girl that her younger sister would look up to.

Naruto couldn't understand Hinata's shyness, thought her eyes were creepy. He didn't understand why she shrank in on herself instead of lashing out, and so he thought of her as strange.

Hinata couldn't understand Naruto's resilience, and thought his whiskers were odd. She didn't understand how he could be so strong and aggressive and even happy instead of hiding, and so she thought of him as strange.

They were the same, and thought the same, but they were so very, very different nonetheless.


Ten years later, in the midst of a war, they were more similar than they had been.

They had both grown to be the kind of person they wanted to be, strong idols for future generations. Hinata had become stronger in spirit, and Naruto had become softer in temper.

When she slapped him after her cousin's death, he couldn't see the shy girl in the big coat.

When he flooded her with that warm chakra, she couldn't see the little boy with the loud voice.

They stood on the battlefield together.


After the war was over, Naruto became Hokage, became wiser with the guidance provided to him to learn to hold the office he so coveted.

After the war was over, Hinata became clan head, became stronger in the face of family who wanted only to continue to use the Caged Bird.

Their rules were gentle but firm, just as they now were.


Naruto was glad to have Hinata's help when he needed advice on a new law.

Hinata was glad to Naruto's backing when she needed to convince an elder that something was wrong.

They spent many late nights together, poring over books to help figure out how to finally just fix things.


Naruto thought his expensive suit was itchy and could barely stand still as he stood at the altar.

Hinata thought her beautiful kimono was soft and light and could barely stand still as she walked to the altar.

No one was surprised.


A/N: Definition from The Free Online Dictionary.

This was done for a one-shot NaruHina contest. I hope you enjoyed it, even if it's a little short and not really my usual style.