Chapter 4: The Arms of a Friend
Hinata walked quickly down a small pathway, through tall bushes of exotic flowers, until she reached a small clearing near the bottom of the garden. It was peaceful here, surrounded by tall trees, still covered in Summer’s late blossoms. There was a small pond, with large stones around it, filled with serene koi. She sat by it, and let the tears fall freely into the previously undisturbed water. She knew that spin the bottle was just a stupid game, a stupid, silly game that meant nothing. But if it meant nothing then…what was that look in Naruto’s eyes, right before he kissed Sakura?
He hadn’t even kissed her yet, she sobbed to herself. And he’d had a crush on Haruno Sakura since the year dot. How could Hinata match up to the pretty, flirty pink haired girl?
Oh, this sake has made me so emotional, she thought to herself. Not as bad as last year, when it had made her ill, and Neji had to carry her all the way home, much to his annoyance.
A noise behind her made her sit upright. She was sure a twig had just snapped further up the path. Who had followed her? Naruto? Sakura?
Who had cared enough to see where she’d gone?
Kiba cursed himself slightly. A damn good ninja he was, unable to sneak up on someone. Should he just turn around and go back to his friends? He heard Shikamaru shouting, and some laughter back on the lawn. There was a crash. It sounded as if the buffet table had been knocked over. Maybe Choji was awake now?
Hinata was standing up now, and he could see the tears in her eyes. No, he wouldn’t go back. She needed someone.
He cleared his throat and entered the clearing.
“Hinata.” His voice was barely a whisper. “Hinata-chan. Are you okay?”
She looked up, startled by his sudden appearance.
“H-hai, Kiba-kun. Just needed some space.”
A breeze moved the tree branches above them and caused some of the blossom there to fall slowly around them, a devastatingly beautiful snow. One delicate petal landed in Hinata’s hair, and Kiba walked forward to brush it away. As he touched her hair, his hand brushed against her forehead and he felt a surge of electricity go through him. His heart fluttered, again. He looked down into her pretty face, her large, pale eyes reflecting his own, dark eyes.
“Do you want to go back to the party? I think I heard Choji getting out form under the buffet table. It’s fair to say he’ll be crying at the loss of the food and…”
Her expression stopped his words.
She moved towards him and put her arms around him.
“Th-thankyou, Kiba-kun, for coming to find me.”
He stood there, frozen for a while, feeling her tiny arms around his waist, squeezing him slightly. Then he put his own, strong arms around her, placing a hand on her back, another on the back of her head. She had the fragrance of a perfect flower. She was so pretty. He felt his heart beat a little faster. Was it the sake, or was it her closeness?
He couldn’t think straight, he knew that for sure. He settled for just inhaling the scent of her hair, feeling her small body pressed to his. Was she trembling, or was that him?
After what seemed like forever, she broke away from him, avoiding his eyes. She looked back to the direction of laughter. It seemed far away. So far away from this nice quiet spot. Strange. She thought none of her other friends could be so happily silent as Neji could. But she was wrong. Kiba contentedly stood with her, not saying a word, not needing to. His embrace had calmed her, and she didn’t understand why.
She felt a blush come to her cheeks suddenly, and without warning. Kiba had grown into a handsome young man, his hair was still messy, his eyes still like a mournful puppy’s. However, in the moonlight he looked radiant, and for some reason she couldn’t take her eyes off him. When had these strange new feeling emerged? Why did it feel so different from when she looked at Naruto.
Kiba smiled down at Hinata.
“Come on, let’s get back to that lot. Naruto will be wondering where his little one’s got to” — he almost choked on these words — “and I won’t be held responsible for whisking you away!”
As he said it he thought he’d love to do nothing more than to whisk her away.
They turned and began to head back to the lawn. Hinata walked in silence alongside Kiba, as they passed by those exotic flowers again. Before they emerged from the small path, he turned to her. His eyes were alight with emotion. She looked up at him as he slowly leant in towards her, and kissed her lightly on the mouth. He then ran off, back up to the lawn, where Shikamaru was trying to drag Choji away from the ruined food.
Hinata stood for a while, watching his retreating back. Her hand moved to her lips, tingling slightly from his kiss.
What did it mean? How had that happened? Why was her heart beating so fast?
Naruto’s shout interrupted her train of thought, as he ran across the grass to reach her.
Chapter 5: Sex, Lies And...Ramen?!?
Hinata awoke to a bright morning. Today she was to leave on her first mission in weeks, but was so far unsure of who she would be going with. She smiled at the memory of last night. Naruto had taken her to Ichiraku ramen, and to show how sincerely sorry he was for the spin the bottle incident, he gave her the last of his meal. She had been touched, but knew he really wanted it for himself, and so gave it back to the delighted boy. She hadn’t spoken to sakura about what had happened...or Kiba for that matter.
She dressed herself and went for breakfast alone. After she had eaten, and knocked on Neji’s door to bid her farewell, she reported to the Hokage.
Standing in front of Tsunade were the three people she would be going on this mission with: Naruto, Sakura, and Kiba with Akamaru. She felt faint. Why all three of them?
Tsunade smirked a little at Hinata’s reaction. She still fainted at the slightest thing then? Never mind. She would be good for this mission, and she was sure the people she had chosen would work well together.
“Right, I’m sure you all want to know why I’ve chosen you for this mission. Well, it’s a simple package delivery really. Only the package is a very precious item and may be wanted by enemies. That is why I’ve chosen Kiba and Akamaru. You are a good tracking team, and your excellent sense of smell will alert you to the presence of enemies. Hinata, the same goes for your Byukagan, and I’m hoping you will also be a calming influence on our two boys here. Sakura you are a medical ninja, and I have decided so as not to risk unnecessary injuries, you will go along too. Naruto. Well, I just threw Naruto in as I haven’t given him a mission in a while and I suppose he might come in useful!”
Naruto let out a sound of annoyance but Tsunade silenced him.
“I trust you all to do this for me. No mistakes, okay? And no stupid risks,” she shot a glance at Naruto, “by anyone!”
It had been a while since they had left the gates of Konoha. Kiba and Akakmaru were up ahead, Naruto and Sakura in the middle and Hinata last. She watched Naruto and Sakura talking excitedly about some incident from years ago. Kiba hopped back to them.
“I found a nice spot we can camp in tonight. The sun will be down soon, so shall we get set up?” he said.
Sakura nodded and Naruto hauled his pack off his back, careful not to damage the parcel that their Hokage had entrusted to him.
Kiba had already begun to kindle a small fire, and Hinata was struggling with Sakura and a particularly annoying tent.
Naruto sighed and lay back on the grass, hoping for a quick nap.
Night had fallen in around them quickly. The woods around them stirred with life and strange noises. Hinata couldn’t sleep. Glancing at her watch she saw it was 12:30am, only half an hour until she had to relieve Kiba from guard duty anyway. She checked to see Sakura was sleeping soundly and crept out of the tent.
Kiba was perched on a log next to the dying embers of their fire. Akakmaru was curled up on the ground next to him, dreaming of something or other, as his paws twitched.
She sighed and plonked herself down onto the log beside him He turned to her.
She shook her head.
“Kiba-kun…” she began, but she couldn’t quite find the words.
“A-about that night w-when…”
Kiba’s face felt hot. He turned away.
“The sake…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that, I’d no right to and…”
She silenced him with a hand on his arm.
“I-I don’t mind. Really.” She felt her face turning red for no reason. “I didn’t know why you did it, b-but now I know it’s because y-you’re my friend, and you c-care about me.” She looked up at him, trying to see his reaction.
He was still turned away.
“Yes, Hinata-chan, I do care for you. Very much. But that wasn’t why I kissed you.”
Hinata bit her lip. That wasn’t why? But she’d thought about it so much, and it was the only conclusion she could come to unless…
“Hinata-chan,” Kiba turned to face her now, “all these years we’ve known each other and I always just saw you as a shy, cute girl, who was in love with Naruto. But when he left, I began to see who you were, properly for the first time. I didn’t want to think about it though, this feeling right here,” he touched his chest, “every time I saw you, it grew and grew. Until Naruto realised you liked him. And he liked you too. Until you started sharing ramen and…and…”
He looked away from her again.
Hinata was shocked. Was Kiba telling her that he liked her? Why was she not bothered? Why did she not run to Naruto for comfort? And that’s when she realised it.
Loving Naruto had almost become habit for her. She had spent so long waiting for him, pining over him, watching him that she had failed to notice anyone else. And failed to notice a certain someone was watching her, waiting for her. And now that finally Naruto wanted her, she had realised that maybe he wasn’t right for her. Maybe she was meant to be with someone else after all.
Sakura was good at faking sleep. Almost too good. She regulated her heartbeat, slowed her breathing right down. And she listened.
Her eyes widened in shock at what she had heard Kiba say. She hadn’t heard what Hinata would say yet, but she didn’t like this silence. What would Naruto say if he found out? How would he feel?
Yes, Hyuuga Hinata was a shy girl. But sometimes, in the right mood, the shyness left her. And this was one of those times.
She looked into Kiba’s eyes, took in every detail of his face, the red face paint, the slightly pointy teeth, his smooth lips, his tanned skin…
Her hands reached up to him, and she placed them on either side of his face. He looked worried. Scared? Maybe…
She brought her face closer to his, their noses almost touching. And then she did it. She leant forwards and pushed her lips to his, a soft moan escaping her as she did so. Her first kiss, and not who she imagined it to be with. Kiba’s hands found her hair, and he ran his fingers through the smooth locks. He opened his mouth slightly and ran his tongue against her lips, and as her lips parted he let his tongue explore her mouth, feeling her tiny teeth, tasting her own sweet tongue. The kiss became more passionate, lips pressing urgently together, Hinata’s hands now working their way into his hair, pulling at it gently.
Kiba broke away.
“This can’t happen,” he said, breathlessly, “Naruto is sleeping just over there, and so is Sakura. He’ll kill me…I never thought that you…Hinata, you are so beautiful!”
He kissed her again, moving his arms behind her, pushing on her back, pulling her closer to him. He was surprised as he felt her breasts against his chest. She seemed to be surprised too, as she broke away from their squeeze.
“Kiba-kun. You must go to sleep. It’s my turn to do guard duty. I’ll speak to you tomorrow.” She looked down at the ground now, embarrassed.
He lifted her face to him, a slender finger under her chin.
“I’m sorry Hinata-chan, sorry it has turned out this way. I won’t make you choose. Just know how I feel. How I have always felt.”
With that he got up and left, slipping into the tent where Naruto lay snoring.
Sakura gasped in surprise, and snuggled further into her sleeping bag. Had she really just heard that? What did she do now? How had this happened? And what would happen now?