Disclaimer: I, Lady Sassy Sas, do hereby disclaim all rights to the wonderful world that is Naruto.
Hinata meditated in the training room of the Hyuga mansion. She felt and saw her chakra flow fluidly within the chakra highways. Taking a deep breath she let it out again as she relaxed further, finding the peace deep within.
She used to do this with Neji quite a lot after they had sparred. It was a tranquil time, used to reflect on oneself and what had been accomplished and what had yet to be accomplished. It refreshed and calmed the mind, body and soul.
She wished Neji was with her now; she had many questions that only he would have been able to answer or give some insight to some puzzling Hyuga business. After Neji had died, Hinata's father had no choice but to make her head as Hanabi wasn't old or experienced enough to be able to take over.
So here she was, meditating and trying to find answers to a multitude of questions and/or problems. She knew she wouldn't find them all –if any- today.
Sighing, she breathed out and opened her pale eyes and gazed across the room to where a blonde stood with their arms crossed over their chest, waiting patiently for her to finish her meditation.
"Sorry to keep you waiting," Hinata bowed slightly and made her way over with a small smile adorning her face.
"No need to apologise. I don't mind waiting but you'd better hurry and change if we're to meet the others in time," Ino smiled and walked beside the blue-haired heiress.
She had calmed down since the war and wasn't nearly as pushy as she used to be but she was still stubborn and opinionated and never failed to put her word in when something interesting or important was being discussed. And, although she wasn't there yet, someday in the future she was going to be taking her father's position in ANBU.
Hinata smiled sadly at the thought of Yamanaka Inoichi. She had never really known the man but she had a great deal of respect for him and for Nara Shikaku, for what they sacrificed during the war to ensure that the Alliance at least made a significant impact in the outcome of it.
"How is Shikamaru doing?" Hinata asked as they slowly made their way through the compound to her personal suite.
It took a moment for her blonde friend to reply, "He's Shikamaru. He's not big on showing his emotions like Naruto or Sakura but he's dealing. We both are." She spoke the last three words quietly. Hinata took the hint; it was still too painful to talk about. "What about you and Hanabi?"
Hinata frowned a bit before she raised her head and a smile spread across her face, "We're doing fine. It's extremely hard, sometimes, to carry on. I relied on him quite a bit when he was alive: training, family matters, personal matters, reminiscing, discussing the life of being a shinobi in general and in detail and about the Byakugan. I miss him more than I can even begin to tell. He was my brother more than he was my cousin," they passed into her private chambers where she quickly crossed the room to her changing screen and proceeded to get changed into her normal outfit, "Hanabi's...dealing. She wasn't as close to Neji as I was but she does miss his prescence. He was invaluable."
There was silence as Hinata finished changing and appeared from behind the screen. With a small smile adorning her face she made her way across to where Ino was waiting, "Let's go meet the rest."
The restaurant was full of life as the shinobi talked loudly, clanged their drinks against one another and cheered on the ones having drinking contests. Hinata was currently seated inbetween Naruto and Kiba. It had been a pleasant evening so far. After the remaining members of the Konoha 11 had finished their group spar they had decided to get dinner together at Yakiniku Q.
It was pleasing to see everyone together at the table, of course, Neji and TenTen's presence were missed.
"Hey, Hinata! Keep count of who can drink the fastest 'tween me and Lee, 'kay?" Kiba slurred excitedly before grabbing his drink and brining it to his lips and on the count of three, began to down it. Hinata just smiled serenely before shaking her head a bit in despair. Kiba and Lee were the worst out of the lot for holding their drink.
She jumped slightly when she felt a hand clasp her own. She swivelled round and came face to face with Naruto.
"N-Naruto-kun?" she asked hesitantly.
"Yosh! Hinata come with me!" he said loudly with a goofy smile on his face.
Hinata went beetroot red, "N-Na-Narut-o-k-kun?"
Instead of answering, she was pulled to her feet before being steadily pulled by Naruto, through the restaurant and out into the night lights of Konoha. Once out, Naruto slowed his pace to walk by her.
Hinata was wanting to ask where he was taking her but didn't have the nerve to do so. He led her up the steps and past the 24 hour shop that was down the lane from his apartment. Her face heated up as her mind quickly came to the idea of him taking her there but she calmed down as he continued passed the building. All of a sudden he came to a halt and she bumped into him. He turned to look at her, "...taking too long,"
She was about to ask him what he meant when he bent and pulled her legs out from under her, cradling her to his chest, "Naruto?"
He didn't answer but leapt onto the nearest rooftop and then continuing across until he reached a certain store roof. He landed without a sound and softly before he nodded his head as he thought of something and set her down on her feet.
She looked around in confusion, not quite sure why he had brought her to the roof a random tailor shop, "Naruto, what are we-"
He looked at her, smiling gently before walking behind her and resting his hands on her shoulders, "Look around, Hinata."
Still unsure but curious, Hinata did as she was told. She could see the walls of the village in front of her. She turned to the east where she saw the Hokage mountain. She turned north to see some of the training grounds and the forest that surrounded them and then west where she saw nothing but the shopping district and just beyond that some of the clan district. The lights from the streets made the village glow warmly. It was very pretty and serene but she failed to see the significance behind it.
"I don't understand. Why are we here?"
Naruto chuckled before spinning her around to face him, "Although, it's not the centre of the village it's pretty much the centre of where everything important has ever happened to you,"
Naruto smiled and looked up at the sky before capturing her eyes in his once again. He then turned her to face the first thing he was about to talk about, "The hospital where you were born," he turned her again, "The academy where the Konoha 11 trained to be shinobi," another turn, "Where the first set of chuunin exams where held. Where you fought bravely and stood up for yourself and what you believed in, against Neji. The gates where we all gathered to pursue Itachi. And here," Naruto paused to take a breath, "right here is where you stood against Pein to protect me; where you told me you loved me."
Hinata froze at the last sentence as her mind carried her back to that day. Where she had stood in front of Naruto to protect him from Pein. Where she had ignored his plea's to get to safety; told him she would protect and die for him because she had fallen in love with him.
She brought her hand to her heart, closed her eyes and bowed her head as her mind replayed it all.
"And then there was the Fourth Shinobi War. When Neji died to protect us, when I was frozen in rage and pain and helplessness, you were the one to snap me out of it and bring me to my senses again. Hinata, you were my pillar at that time. You have always been the silent, hidden but must potent strength that kept me going all these years,"
Tears fell from her eyes as she listened to the man she loved. She was slowly turned around once more to face him. His hand gently came up to cup her cheek before gently wiping the glistening streams of tears from her eyes and cheeks. His other hand covered hers were it lay over her heart.
"Hinata?" he whispered gently as a slight breeze lifted her hair slightly. His hand cupped her chin but didn't raise it. He wanted her to meet his gaze of her own accord, which she did. She gasped as she saw the pure, raw emotion in his blue eyes. Love.
"I never did get to tell you how I felt four years ago and then after, the amount of work that had to be done to bring the countries back together and then keep the alliance from falling apart and then training to become Hokage. It's been four years since that war, Hinata. The countries are finally settling down. You and I have been going out for the last two, on and off because of one thing or another getting in the way," his voice held a slight disappointment to it but for the most part, it held soft compassion and love, "This is why I've brought you here tonight, Hinata because I think it's only appropriate to finally reciprocate your feelings properly in the place you first told me you loved me," and then his lips were against hers in a soft but no less passionate and sweet kiss.
To her, it felt like hours and hours had passed when he finally released her and touched his forehead against hers, "I love you, Hyuga Hinata, with all my heart."
Hinata let out a shaky breath as the tears began anew, "I love you, Naruto-kun,"
Naruto chuckled and held her tightly against him, "I'm the luckiest guy in the world,"
Hinata sighed in contentment as she stood in the safety of his arms. Naruto had most definitely matured since the Fourth Shinobi War. He wasn't as hyper-active anymore (although, he did have his days), he was serious when the occasion called for it and he was definitely wiser. He thought before he took action – most of the time – and he knew when to quit.
And as they stood there, underneath the stars, Hinata smiled widely. She looked up at Naruto and as they gazed at each other, she knew the rest of her life would be content.
Well, this is a new one for me. I have never done another pairing from Naruto before so it was interesting. This is a prize for ZuJankowskaProject who got first place in the KakaSaku New Years contest.
The pairing requested was NaruHina and I tried my best with it. I'm sorry it's soo late! A lot has been happening since the contest ended ^^" But thank you for being patient with me!
Lady Sassy Sas xXx