A/N: Sorry for this late update. I've been busy.

I do not own Naruto…

Halfway through combing her hair, Hinata slowed before stopping when the condensation of water vapor on the mirror cleared and she could see her reflection clearly. Then, as she slowly ran a hand through her wet, long hair, an absurd idea ran through her mind. Cagily, she put the comb down and closed her eyes and, with a little chakra manipulation, changed her hair color to pink… a familiar hot pink. After that, she gingerly opened her eyes before gasping aloud and immediately shutting her eyes ever so tightly while violently shaking her head in disapproval and shame, allowing her hair to turn back to its original color instantaneously.

In the last few weeks, she had managed to put aside her lack of confidence and uncertainty when her administration on the academy started paying off and she was beginning to see a more positive, more fruitful outcome to her supervision and training programs. Somehow, the encouraging state of affairs had allowed her little time to continuously muse over what had happened between Naruto and her. Things were moving towards a different direction and she was slowly easing out of the unending heartbreak that had left her in an almost permanent state if anguish.

Nevertheless, Shino's sudden appearance in Oiru had re-awakened her inner torment and once again, she found herself incessantly thinking of the only person she had ever loved and hopelessly falling back into her initial state of wretchedness and insecurity. Admittedly, she had spent the last few nights crying herself to sleep.

For a long time now, Hinata had wondered if Naruto would love her more if she had bright, pink hair… even large green eyes. Would she have looked better that way? Sakura was beautiful, she had deliberated. She was also strong, capable and confident… all that she wasn't. And that was probably why Naruto had always loved his ex-teammate because comparatively, as she quietly scrutinized her own reflection, she could only see a weak, pale girl with monotonous, white eyes.

Then, out of habit, she asked herself what had actually happened and how had fate made her the Hokage's wife. With a sigh, she dropped her head… she didn't deserve Naruto. She was too weak, too plain. He, however, was handsome and powerful – Konoha's most respected and influential Hokage to date. If Sasuke hadn't returned to Konoha, Naruto would have ended up with Sakura by now while she could only continue to stand at the sideline, continue to glance at him without his knowledge and continue to yearn for his love like how it had always been. Yet somehow, God had been kind to her and had made her Naruto's wife. She should have been more than thankful, not warranting anything in return.

With only a towel tightened around her body, Hinata heaved another sigh before slowly walking out of the bathroom. She had been a fool to leave her husband. She had overreacted and left without seeing things through his eyes. She had failed to regard his poignant situation, failed in her role as a wife. She was a failure… all over again.

Many seconds later, after putting on her bra and pulling up a matching light blue panty, she took a deep breath and exhaled aloud. Regardless of her state of quandary, she understood that she couldn't keep going back to feeling inadequate all the time. She had a mission to run and people to supervise. And as heartbroken as she was, she knew that she had to push her own dilemma aside so that she could thrive in the task at hand.

Taking in another deep breath, she held her head high and straightened her posture before reaching for her uniform in the cupboard. Just then, a startling tingling at the back of her neck put her on alert as she immediately turned around; concurrently activating her byakugan and swinging out chakra-filled palms, sending chakra waves towards what seemed like, a fast-approaching threat.

"Whoa!" Naruto gushed as he landed at the bedroom window, thankful that he was still in sage mode. With the natural energy around him, he had been able to deflect the chakra surge that Hinata had just sent his way. "Is this how you greet your husband?" he asked, pulling a mischievous grin as he swayed a little before getting a hold of himself. "Glad I wasn't too near." Slowly, the chakra shroud around the blonde-haired Hokage dissipated and his eyes color gradually went back to blue.

Naruto's emergence had been so quick, so sudden that even with her prevailing shinobi senses, Hinata had failed to perceive his impending appearance sooner. In normal circumstances, she would have continued attacking; not really taking into consideration the fact that she was only in her undergarments. Yet, somehow, at that very moment, she could only stand, stunned as the clothes in her hands fell to her feet – for there before her, standing in a hunch over the ledge of the window, in a most impressive, high-collared, red coat, was none other than her husband, Uzumaki Naruto. She couldn't believe her eyes.

The blonde-haired male only widened his smile as he quietly panted. He had travelled in lightning speed throughout the night and had arrived in Oiru hardly a couple of minutes ago. Employing senjutsu, he had been able to actually pinpoint exactly where Hinata had been. Nevertheless, he wasn't exactly tired – not with Kurama's help. He was only out of breath from the heightened anticipation he had been harboring and from the incredible emotion he was feeling right at that very moment. In truth, it seemed almost dreamlike that he was actually looking at the real Hinata instead of just gazing at her in a photo. Undoubtedly, he couldn't stop staring at the lady before him – her long, dark tresses; her fair, flawless skin; her beautiful, white eyes; and now that she was only in her undergarments, her stunning, slender and undeniably, well-endowed body…

"You… you…" Hinata couldn't find her voice. At the outset, she had been sure that she was in some sort of genjutsu. The Hokage's appearance was surreal. Someone had definitely put her into a powerful trance; manipulating her mind into seeing the one person she so wished to see. Still, she couldn't disregard the familiar energy that Naruto held and was clearly aware that there was no other person who held such massive chakra within. It really was him… he really had come.

Naruto didn't say another word as he shot forward and grabbed Hinata in a tight embrace. For the last few months, he had tried to visualize how things would turn out when they actually met. There were many occasions when he had imagined Hinata turning away from him or worst, holding the hand of an almost nauseating, dimple-flashing, curly-haired, young Muro. During these times, when his imagination ran wild, he had thought of putting everything down right away and going after his wife in Oiru. Without a doubt, it had taken him all his strength and logic to control himself, staying back in his village until he was truly ready. Yet, at that very moment, with the magnitude of gratification he was feeling, he couldn't decide whether to justly delight on the delay, or to actually regret not coming earlier.

He had missed her… missed her a lot. If only she had known how, in the past few months, he had passed every idle minute he had, just thinking of her and every wakeful hour, wondering about her wellbeing. She had somehow become the very centre of his universe, occupying his mind and work in such a way that most of the things that he had been working on were for her interests.

Still in shock, Hinata however, didn't know how to react. It took her many seconds before she slowly wound her hands around the Hokage's waist as tears started to form in her eyes, realization coming to life. She had spent her entire life being in love with the man who now stood in her arms, an entire life hoping that she could be with him all the time. Somehow, she must have done something really good for fate to have made her Naruto's wife and, as she thought about the circumstances they had been put into, she knew that it was her very own foolishness that had taken her away from him in the first place.

"Until you find it in you to actually love me." Those had been the last words she had said to Naruto before she left Konoha. For the briefest of moments, she replayed what she had said, in her mind. Could his appearance mean that he had truly come to love her? Yet somehow, being in his arms again, nothing seemed to actually matter. She was willing to accept anything. As she allowed her tears to stream down her cheeks, she inwardly decided that she would ignore the fact that Naruto loved somebody else - she just couldn't bear to be away from him another time. She would tolerate his uncertainty and would never again question his feelings. She would be the submissive, contented wife that she should have been and would never again act thoughtlessly. She would love him with all her heart like how it was meant to be…. like how it was always meant to be.

As she tightened her embrace, Naruto snuggled deeper and took in the familiar scent he had come to miss. For a moment, time just stood still as the couple savored the moment they come into contact after almost six months.

"I've missed you so much," he said with a contented sigh, many minutes later as he let his hands run through her hair and roam her almost naked back.

He wasn't touching her in a stimulating, sexual way, even though it was truly difficult not to be since she was so scantily clothed. Nevertheless, at that moment, he was essentially calling to mind the familiar feel of her body and actually taking in what he had missed before. Then, when her tears soaked through his clothes and onto his shoulder, he released her and smiled.

"Hey," he cooed, wiping her tears with his thumbs. "Don't cry." It pained him to see her cry, the tears flowing down her beautiful face. He couldn't help feeling responsible for all the tears she had shed and at that juncture, he promptly came to a decision that he would never again make her cry.

"I'm sorry," she choked out, unable to control her emotions. "I shouldn't have left… I… I had been selfish and stupid and…"

"Hinata…" Naruto emitted as he pulled her into his arms again. "I'm sorry, too… I'm sorry, too." If only she knew of his fears of her completely giving up on him.

It was funny how some thing that seemed unbearably painful, almost disastrous for many months could just fade away into thin air with such simple words and action. He could feel the anxiety within him slowly ease away as he held her in his arms. She could feel the joy inside her growing as she nuzzled onto his chest. All sense of insecurity and culpability melted away as they stayed in that position. All feeling of fear and confusion dissipated into nothingness as they basked in one another's company.

It seemed like ages before they finally came apart. After quietly wiping her tears away, Hinata carefully studied her husband's features – his striking blonde hair, his bright blue eyes and those inviting, affectionate lips. Naruto was smiling with a kind of warmth that she had not seen in a long time. Tenderly, she placed her hand on his whisker-marked cheek and looked up into his eyes.

"I love you," he said, as he placed his hand over hers and turned to kiss her hand. "If I hadn't been sure before, I am right now... more than you'll ever know. I just want you to know that I really love you… really, really do."

She swallowed hard to control more tears from forming. She had wanted to hear those words for as long as she could remember and right then, she was willing to believe anything he said. Life would be tolerable as long as she could be by his side again.

Very slowly, Hinata broke into a most beautiful, comforted smile. With his spirits lifted, Naruto chuckled happily before immediately taking the opportunity to seal the smile with a fierce, enthusiastic kiss. Those soft, supple lips in the picture of his mind came to life when Hinata reacted with fervor.

It felt as if everything around them just melted away as they relish in each other's company. They kissed like how they should have, kissed like the Gods had planned out this very moment all these times. Many seconds passed before they came apart but as soon as they did, Naruto dived in again for another kiss. It was like he was making up for the time they had been apart; making up for what he had been deprived of for almost six months.

Seconds stretched into minutes before they finally came apart, catching their breaths. Then, tenderly placing his forehead on Hinata's, Naruto quietly breathed out, "Come home with me."

Hinata looked up, excited and eager to agree, before she slowly digested the offer while weighing up the situation. As much as she would have loved to go back to Konoha with the Hokage, as much as she would have loved to stay by his side all the time, she knew she couldn't leave. She had a mission to complete, responsibilities to carry out. As she gently placed a hand on Naruto's chest, she gave a sigh before smiling, "I can't… I'm still on a mission, remember?"

"That's not a problem. I can always arrange for someone else to take your place," the Hokage reasoned, before he pressed his lips on her forehead. "I need you…" he continued before being interrupted by a sudden knock at the door. Jolted from the interruption, the couple came apart as Hinata hurriedly looked around for her clothes before picking them up.

"Hinata," came a familiar, annoying voice. "Are you up yet?"

"I… just… just a minute, Kazuo-san," Hinata stammered as she hastened to put her uniform on.

Naruto however, stood licking his lips, clearly irritated by the disturbance. Then, a mischievous idea came to his mind before he gave a cheeky grin. As his wife hastily put her clothes on, he started taking his red coat off.

"Naruto, what are you doing?" Hinata cried, frantically pulling up a pair of black pants.

The Hokage's grin broadened as he casually dropped his coat onto the floor. Then, he reached for his black shirt and was about to pull it off when his wife caught his hands.

"What… what are you doing," she asked, her face flushed pink just thinking of what her husband might have in mind.

Naruto chuckled again before pulling Hinata in for another zealous kiss.

"You're going to be late," Muro Kazuo interrupted yet again.

With that, Hinata pulled back, quietly gasping for air while her head spun with surprise and her body, in stimulation. Naruto could be passionate sometimes, but never that obsessive in their relationship before she thought, as she stood in stimulated wonder. It took her many seconds before she turned back to her clothes. Then, just as she was about to reach for her flak jacket, the Hokage speedily took off his shirt, threw it onto the bed and rushed to open the door, a wicked smile playing on his lips.

"Naruto…" Hinata cried, signs of panic and mortification showing in her eyes.

She couldn't stop him. Not when he opened the door and stood, shirtless before a familiar, curly-haired Muro Kazuo. Then, he faked a yawn, stretching his hands before smiling at the caller.

"Good morning," Naruto then greeted casually, trying hard not to let the mischief within him show.

The young Muro had been standing with his hands crossed in his front before the Hokage opened the door. When he spotted Naruto, his mouth fell opened and his eyes widened before he lifted a hand to point an accusing finger at the blonde-haired Hokage.

"Y... y… you… you," the curly-haired male stammered.


"Wh… what are you… you… what are you… what are you doing in… in Hinata's room?" he stammered further while indicating to the lady inside.

Scratching his head in an act of innocence, Naruto asked, "Do you really want to know?" Then he flaunted an impish smile before spying a wink. "We were… you know… the obvious…"

He was really enjoying seeing Kazuo's reaction. The young man was flabbergasted, his face in a state of utter disbelief. But when Naruto turned and saw Hinata standing motionless, staring at him with tears brimming in her eyes, all exploit of mischief dissipated as he slammed the door at the young Muro's face and rushed to his wife.

"Hey, it was only a joke… I was only playing with him… Hinata?"

Her eyes were not on his. He soon realized that she was actually looking at his chest or to be exact, at a pair of rings that were hanging from his neck and sitting safely on his chest.

With shaky fingers, Hinata reached for the rings.

"You had it with you," she breathed as she stroked the rings before picking hers out.

It was almost surreal. For the past many months, she had so often rubbed the finger that used to bear the ring, wishing that she had never returned her wedding ring to Naruto. It was like seeing an old friend after a very long interval – an old friend that she had missed with all her heart, an old friend that had meant everything to her.

"Have been carrying them all these time…" Naruto admitted. "…close to my heart."

The tears in her eyes slowly streamed down her cheeks before the Hokage proceeded to loosen the leather, string necklace and took the rings off. Then, taking Hinata's hand, he slowly pushed the ring back onto her finger before putting his own ring onto his.

"There…" he said afterwards as he took her hand again and lifted it before them, displaying the two rings on both hands, close to each other. "…they're meant to be together, you know… always."

Hinata could only nod, smiling and crying at the same time. At that very moment, she felt like the happiest woman on earth.

"I don't want to be apart again, ever," Naruto continued. "I love you, Hinata… trust me."

Once again, the dark-haired lady found herself speechless as she looked into her husband's eyes. Very slowly, she could see that Naruto was smiling with a kind of earnestness and his blue eyes were radiating in a most vivid gleam - the brightest gleam she had ever seen. And then it finally dawned on her that he was indeed, truly happy to see her and that his confession was without a doubt, filled with sincerity. Instantaneously, she threw herself forward and wrapped her arms tightly around Naruto's waist. He immediately returned the gesture with zest… he had never been happier.

However, their little celebratory act was short-lived when Muro Kazuo once again decided to interrupt.

"Hinata, are… are you okay?" the young man requested with a hint of urgency.

Outside the bedroom, the young master's mind had been racing as he tried to take in what he had actually witnessed. Hinata had been violated, he finally concluded. That would explain why the lady was in tears. Without a doubt, the Hokage had come all the way from Konoha to take advantage of her; his state of un-dress had been proof. It wasn't hard for the curly-haired male to believe that, since in truth, Hinata was one of the most beautiful ladies he had ever come across. Any sane man would have loved to take her to bed and the leader of Fire Country clearly wasn't an exception. Admittedly, Kazuo did realize that he too, had been looking for an opportunity to sleep with the dark-haired lady.

Nevertheless, even though he understood that the Hokage was probably one of the most powerful men around, the young Muro decided that he had to actually do something to secure whatever dignity Hinata had left. She was a guest in his house and also someone who had come to help Oiru start up a ninja academy. It would be immoral to just allow her to be taken advantage of by Konoha's leader, however powerful the man was. Finally bolstering his courage, Kazuo had actually decided to knock at the door.

"O-open up…" he called, a little cautiously, recognizing the fact that he would be confronting one of the most influential men known in the shinobi world.

As they came apart, Naruto sighed in irritation. "Know what I really feel like doing right now?" he asked his wife. "I feel like sending that guy to Mount Myoboku."

"…To pick up senjutsu?"

"Yeah, dream on… I want to send him there for a whole month, no for a whole year in fact, so that he gets nothing else to eat except worms, flies and all sorts of creepy, crawly bugs!"

Hinata laughed lightly before quietly emitting, "He's a nice guy, actually… He just didn't know that you're my husband, that's all."

"You'd better enlighten him then."

With a nod and a smile, Hinata slowly turned to open the door. Muro Kazuo was about to knock again before he quickly retrieved his hand in fear. But when he saw that it was Hinata at the door, he gingerly peeped passed the dark-haired lady, into the room. Naruto had put on his shirt by then and was actually gathering his coat from the floor when he looked up and gave the young master another wink.

Inhaling sharply, the pale, young man turned to Hinata and asked, "Did he… Did he vi… violate you? Should we… should we do something?"

"It's not like that, Kazuo-san…," Hinata started as Naruto walked up to her, casually putting his red coat on. "You see, this… this is Uzumaki Naruto, Hokage of Konoha…"

"Well, if you recall, we've met before," Kazuo quietly interrupted.


"Let me explain," Naruto intercepted as he came to the door. "You see, I accidentally killed Hinata's husband say… um… a week ago. So, I'm essentially here to take over whatever he has left."

Muro Kazuo couldn't believe what he had heard as once again, he stood with his mouth wide opened before he consciously closed it while swallowing hard. The Hokage however, was trying his best to stay composed before Hinata held his hand.

"I'm sorry, Kazuo-san… He was only joking." Hinata offered. "Naruto is actually …um, he's actually my husband."

The young Muro didn't know how to react. Once again, he could only stand, gaping like a little boy.

"I'm sorry, I should have informed you who my spouse is from the beginning," Hinata apologized.

"He… and you…" the curly-haired male uttered, looking from Hinata to the Hokage and back to Hinata again while his right, pointer finger moved correspondingly with his searching eyes.

It was hard to acknowledge such significant detail, even harder when he had been quietly anticipating a break-up between Hinata and her spouse all these time. Yet, when he slowly digested the piece of information, Kazuo realized that he had been foolish to have missed out a most important aspect all these time – indisputably, the most powerful, most influential person in Konoha would have chosen a most beautiful lady for himself. Thence, Hinata's marriage to the Hokage shouldn't have been a surprise after all…

Slowly exhaling and in a mixture of relief and disappointment, Muro Kazuo then forced a smile before quietly saying, "Welcome to the Land of Oil… Hokage-sama."


The house was more than just a four-bedroom, spaciously planned place of abode. It was more than a house with a beautiful, large garden and lots of running space all around that came with the Hokage title her husband held. It was more than everything she had ever wanted and ever dreamed of. This house, with white, polished paint on the outside and soft, pale cream color on the walls inside, was a place she called home. It was a place she had shared her many first with Naruto, a place that held all her hopes and happiness.

Walking through the door and into the house, Hinata couldn't hold back the profound sense of gratification that seemed to fill her up. "It's good to be home," she whispered to herself before turning around. "Are you hungry?" she asked as Naruto closed the door and placed her cotton, canvas bag down.

They had left for Konoha immediately after a farewell lunch with Muro Kazuo and his father and many other members from the academy. Naruto had been impressed at the impact Hinata had made to the people in the small village. All of them were reluctant to see her leave. Nevertheless, the Hokage had been sneaky enough to make the people, including his wife, think that Hinata was only going home for an uncle's ninety-ninth birthday celebration. It was to be a really big event and accordingly, it would be most offensive to skip such an important occasion.

The Hokage gave a playful smile before immediately sprinting forward and sweeping his wife off the floor. It was already past midnight and they had only had a couple of sweet buns since lunch. "I am hungry… so, so hungry. But that can wait... Right now, I'm hungry for something else."

Hinata's face flushed pink at the words as she held onto Naruto's neck while he carried her into the bedroom. She couldn't deny the fact that she had been anticipating his move. Earlier, while she and Naruto had been travelling in Naruto's Tailed Beast Mode, he had transferred some of Kurama's chakra to her. But along with the chakra, Hinata had been able to sense a subtle sensation that seemed to emanate from her husband's body – a subtle sense of need… of desire.

Once in the bedroom, Naruto placed his wife onto their bed ever so gently, before standing back to simply admire the woman he had married. It was taking him all his self-control not to plunge in and tear her clothes off as he entertained the inevitable arousal within his pants. But he wasn't going to take everything for granted anymore. He wasn't going to just have sex and satisfy the inner yearning of nature. He was going to love her… fervently, passionately.

As he slowly took his coat off, he kept his eyes on Hinata, giving her a most reassuring smile. Under the glow of an almost full moon that came through the window, he could actually see the blush on her fair skin while his wife's eyes shone with a kind of wanting he could really appreciate. Inwardly, he questioned why he had never paid attention to how her body reacted before. Then, almost in slow motion, he bent down to touch her blushing cheeks before leaning in to kiss her. It was slow at first, gently and tenderly, before an aching desire finally overtook him and he soon found himself moving with fiery enthusiasm.

Hinata couldn't believe the zeal Naruto exuded when he leaned into her. With their lips locked in heated passion, his hands roamed and touched every part of her body in a most amorous way. For a moment, she felt like a young bride, bashful yet eager on her first night of marriage, being touched and explored for the first time, by a most loving, indulgent groom.

Somehow, things seemed different… Naruto seemed different. And as they took pleasure in their exploit, Hinata slowly came to a conclusion that maybe, just maybe, leaving Konoha had been a rightful action after all…


She wasn't expecting anyone as she casually opened the front door and walked out to catch some fresh morning air. But when she saw the person standing at the gates, her heart gave a leap of joy before she strode forward and gave a smile, "Kiba…"

A/N: Bear with me on this author's note…

Once again, I want to thank you, Serious Sam. Apparently, I've received some reviews from those who actually read my story because of your shout out. I also want to thank Ayrmed for her shout out too. You guys have been amazingly supportive.

To those I couldn't reach: - misha48, joy, Nadine Hissatomi, kavya, pupuru, karelyn, phy, wow (I'm sure you're not reading this anymore but, just in case, I'd like to say that I don't hate Naruto and this is not really a Hina cheat Naru fic. Sorry if I've made you think otherwise), Hinatafan (I didn't really mean that Hinata was happier without Naruto. I only meant to say that her priorities had shifted and she wasn't as downhearted as she had initially been. In other words, her anguish took a back seat), kojiharu-hime (I'm really honored to have made it to your favorite author list. Thank you so much!), pikachu desu (thank you so much for the inspiring review), marushimero (I wonder if this story has become dull for you. I'll do some explanation below. Let me know if I've let you down). Thank you all for the reviews!

I don't really like to explain myself most of the time but it looked like many readers were bothered with my profile and somehow, thought that I don't like Naru/Hina. *Sigh. I don't hate Naru/Hina. In fact, I'm a real fan. I just never thought I'd write a story about the couple because to me, Kishimoto would eventually put the two together, hopefully. Guess I'll have to make amendments to my profile… when I finish this story. (Sometimes, I do enjoy being misunderstood. It sort of brought out the real Naru/Hina spirit in readers.)

This was never meant to be a 'punish Naruto' story. Mostly, it was about how, in relationships, we so often turned a mole hill into a mountain and how on many occasions, we tend to take one another for granted. I guess I chose to highlight more on healing and forgiveness rather than retribution. So, to those who were disappointed with how Hinata hadn't put up a fight, I suppose all I can say is, if there really is a reality to this, then in truth, Hinata can never be angry with Naruto for too long.

Thanks again for reading this.

Reviews… anyone?

- softwinds -