Hinata put some force into the door until it swung open, unjamming itself. A small cloud of dust swirls past Hinata's nose, causing her to sneeze.
"Ah, sorry about the dust" Naruto grins childishly. He had been meaning to clean his apartment for a few months now but found he never had the time anymore.
"Its fine, Naruto-kun" Hinata sniffles a little then steps into the small apartment. It was relatively tidy, though there were still matters like dusting, vacuuming and other small things needed. Hana squeezes between Hinata and Naruto with a huge grin on her face. She turns to face Hinata, excitement written all over her face.
"Can I show you my room?" Hana almost squealed, her excitement that her and her parents could peacefully live together, even if only briefly was a dream come true. Hinata smiled and nodded at her, placed her bags by Naruto's sofa then followed her down a small hall to her room. Naruto smiled to himself. He was glad to see Hana happy, Hinata too. However, deep in the pit of his stomach sat a small, daunting fear. If he loses his fight with Hiashi he'll not only lose his dream, but Hinata and probably Hana too. He would lose everything.
Hana pushed her mother into her room and grinned. On the right of Hana's walls was a bookshelf filled with ninja technique scrolls and varied books. In the centre was a kotatsu and on the left side of the room was her futon with floral covers. On the far wall was a large window. By the door to her room was a large cane chair that Naruto would occasionally read to her on. On the left wall, in front of her futon were sliding doors to her closet. Hinata takes a seat in the chair as Hana begins rummaging her bookshelf. After which she pulls out her three most favourite. The first is a small book on chakra techniques, for beginners and intermediates. The next was the history of the Kage's; her favourites are the stories of Minato and Naruto. Her third and most favourite book is called 'The fox and the bunny'.
"It's about a shy bunny that falls in love with a fox, and despite everyone saying the fox is bad, he's actually a very good and kind fox but only the bunny knows this at first." Hana explains.
"It takes a long time for fox to be recognised. But the bunny is never recognised by the fox." Hana frowns, and then continues.
"But! When the fox is hurt the bunny comes to his aid, even though all the others consider him worthless when he's not strong. The bunny has always seen him as strong. The bunny wants to one day be like the fox" Hana finishes. Hinata smiles, it was a cute story.
"It sounds good, would you read it to me properly tonight?" Hana grins.
"Yep, definitely!" She nods, her little blonde pigtails bouncing.
Naruto takes Hinata's bags and puts them into his room. He then takes out a change of pyjamas, a blanket and a pillow. It seemed he would be back on the couch until he had another room made. He places the pillow and blanket on the couch and sits down. Alone in his thoughts his mind drifts off to Hinata's family. Neji was very apologetic about Hiashi finding out. Naruto had understood that for Neji to at all be sorry was a big deal. Even still, he was angry. Not at Neji, and probably not so much Kiba, it was Hiashi that bothered him. Hiashi was adamant about not letting Naruto take away the Hyuuga's powerful caged bird seal over the branch members. He tried to appeal to the council but they only ever told him it was an internal affair and that it was out of their hands. Naruto looks to a photo on the coffee table of Hana and himself at the academy graduation ceremony. Naruto's daydream is broken by Hinata and Hana's entrance.
With Hana on her shoulders Hinata walks into the lounge room to see Naruto sat on the couch. She smiles at him and blushes. Hana wriggles and slides down her back, landing on the floor. Naruto looks to the clock. It was getting late. Hinata noticed him checking the time.
"Ah, what time do you normally have dinner, Naruto-kun?" Hinata's stuttering had subsided a lot since she was sixteen. It was odd how Naruto had noticed that about her only now.
"Well, I was actually hoping on having it back at the festival
" He looked down to the ground recalling the interruption of Hiashi, Neji and Kiba. He looks back up to Hinata and smiles back at her, trying to reassure her. Only to find Hinata gone, Hana too. He looks down the hallway, checking each of the rooms. To find nothing, then stops as he sees them in the kitchen- Hinata's head buried in the fridge, then the pantry. Hana was sat at the counter, watching Hinata.
" Hinata jumps at Naruto's voice banging her head on the pantry shelf above her head.
are you doing?" Naruto finishes.
"M-making dinner" Hinata murmurs feeling a little dizzy from the knock on her head. Hinata backs away from the pantry, her hand on her head and eye's spinning. Naruto lets out a small laugh.
"Here, you sit down. I'll make dinner" He guides her to an empty counter chair beside Hana. Hinata takes the seat and Naruto takes out three packages of instant ramen. After taking out some bowls and putting the kettle on boil Hana says
"You really should get more shopping done, you know?" Hana pouts referring to the instant meals on standby. Naruto frowns a little.
" Naruto shakes his head. He was about to put the blame on Hana and how Hinata having to stay was a surprise.
"I'll get some tomorrow in the morning, okay?" The kettle popped. Naruto poured the boiling water over the ramen, filling the bowls. Hinata whom was slumped forward straightened up and took a bowl and chopsticks from him, and Hana did the same, though Hana was more reluctant. Hana had expected to be allowed to cook, as her and Naruto had come to the agreement that Hana would teach Naruto to cook, while she would make dinner once a week. She normally cooked once a week, straight after the groceries were bought and unpacked.
They each sat on the floor, at the table in the lounge/dining room. Naruto could feel his small apartment was beginning to get crowded. They ate in almost complete silence. The only sounds were of the wind, Hana humming and the wind outside. Naruto began humming the same tune as Hana and Hinata watched them back and forth. She wondered how much bonding they had done in the two months she couldn't see Hana. A part of her wished she had just admitted to being her mother sooner. She had intended to, but she never found the right opportunity. She had considered how she could have told him in a way that would be the least embarrassing or public, but instead- She blushed at how she had behaved at the festival, just announcing it to all of her friends like that. A pain shot through her head. Her reflexes had her flinging her hand to her head and slump forward a little.
"M-Mum?!" Hana looks to Hinata, her eye's widened. Hinata can feel her eyesight go hazy around the edges. Her balance falters. Naruto catches Hinata as she falls to the ground, landing safely in his arms. Hinata's arms are hot on Naruto's skin.
"A-Are you okay? Hinata?" Naruto's eyes search her face, which is turns redder with each moment. Hinata feels her face grow hot with both shyness at being held and, from what she can tell- a fever.
"You're burning up!" Naruto says, putting his hand to her forehead, propping her against his chest. He was about to remove her jacket when he pauses. Hinata had fainted. He sighs and picks her up bridal style. Hana follows him as he carries an unconscious Hinata to his room. Hana pulls the blankets back and Naruto places her on the bed. Naruto says
"Hana, it's about bed time. If you'd like I'll read to you in here?" Hana nods then darts off to her room. Naruto lets out a soft sigh. He looks to the unconscious Hinata. Careful to not wake her he gently brushes away a bit of hair off of her face. Her nose twitches. Naruto smiles.
Like a rabbit" He murmurs.
Hinata cracks open her eyes a little. Hinata had gotten better with fainting, she could wake up quickly now. Her pale eyes were a great contrast to her reddening face. Hana then knocks gently on the door, a book in her arms. Hinata looks to the door and begins to prop herself up. Naruto nods Hana in and helps Hinata. With Hinata propped up Hana jumps up onto the bed. Naruto lifts her up and places her on his lap. Hinata smiles at them and Hana merely looks worried back. Hinata's attention is then drawn to the book in her hands. She smiled as she read the title.
"The Fox, The Bunny and the little girl."
Naruto began reading.
There once lived a young fox.
He was always thought of badly, and was ignored by the other forest animals. They would call him "stupid" because his dream was to one day be the king of the forest.
He promised he would one day make his dream come true. So, even when everyone ignored him he would still give it his all.
Almost everyone thought he was stupid. Only a little bunny believed in him. The bunny would watch him from the sidelines quietly until she had to return to her owner.
Even though the little bunny watched the fox and cheered him on, she was very shy and could never talk to him and tell him how she felt.
Naruto paused; Hana had begun to fall asleep in his arms. He carefully shifted her onto the bed with Hinata. Once Hana was in Hinata's arms her eyes popped open. So he had no choice but to continue reading.
As the two grew, the fox had gained more friends and was still very determined to become king. The bunny had only grown shyer as she had begun to fall in love with the fox she had been watching all the time.
The young girl that owned the bunny began to notice its strange habit of going to the forest. The girl decided to follow the bunny one day to notice the bunny watching the fox. It didn't take long for the girl to realize her bunny's crush on the fox.
Over time the fox began to prove himself to the forest animals and as such, made more friends. The fox's new friends made the bunny feel less and less needed and she began to feel almost useless to the fox.
Until the fox had been caught in a trap! The bunny, seeing this, immediately goes to try and help him, only to have to wait for a human.
When the human man came to inspect the trap he saw the bunny in front of the cage, between him and the fox. The bunny had been guarding the fox for a long time. When the man tried to shoo the bunny away she refuse to move.
For a long while the man tried to reason with the bunny but still, she refused to move. The bunny told the fox her feelings, should she never see him again, she wanted to have no regrets. Then, the man went for the bunny.
Suddenly, from the bushes jumps the young girl. She stands in front of the bunny to protect it from the man. The fox tells the bunny to run away but the bunny doesn't listen, she stays.
After the girl jumps out from the bushes she explains that the bunny is hers, and convinces him to let her take care of them. The man leaves soon after setting the fox free and letting them all go.
Thankful, the fox apologises to the bunny for not realizing her love and power sooner. Together, the girl, the bunny and her new pet fox head home.
Once finished, Naruto closed the book. It made a small sound which stirred Hinata a little. Naruto stared at the two. Both Hinata and Hana had fallen asleep. Naruto places the book on the bed side and gets up from the bed. As he's about to walk out to the couch/makeshift bed he is stopped by a small tug. He turns around to see, on his shirt is Hinata's gripping hand. Her eyes are half open, her face still red from the fever. Hana is fast asleep. Naruto stares at her a moment and almost misses what she whispers.
Stay. Will you
s-stay?... With me?" Hinata looks weak from the fever. Naruto nods, understanding what she might have meant. He takes his shirt off and changes into pyjama bottoms. His seal briefly shows, then disappears. Naruto carefully climbs in on the other side of the sleeping Hana. Hinata stares at him, her eyes ached but somehow, looking into Naruto's cool blue eyes calmed her. She could feel herself slipping. Naruto could see the fever was still bad. At this rate she would still not be well tomorrow. Naruto sighs a little.
"If you need me for body heat, just say so" He pulls back the covers and goes around to the other side of the bed, where he climbs back in to be behind Hinata. Hinata blushes, and not just from the fever.
"N-Naruto-kun?..." Hinata whispered.
A-are you worried about the fight?" Naruto considered this. He was worried about Hana and Hinata. If he lost what would happen to them? He knew Hinata would not live, but what would they do to Hana? Naruto ran through a lot of possibilities before his thoughts were interrupted.
"Naruto-kun?" Hinata turned to face him. He looked her in the eyes. Her pale lavender eyes contrasted against her dark raven hair. A minute passed as Naruto looked her over. Each second had her blushing more. He then remembered He wasn't wearing a shirt and became self-conscious of sill things.
"Yeah?" He eventually replied, dumbly.
"I was wondering
" Naruto held his breath.
What are your th-thoughts about me?" Hinata blushed even against the fever it was still noticeable. Naruto smiled at her. A soft smile, unlike all his other cheesy grins, this was different it was warm, inviting and gave her the answer. Still Naruto felt he had to say it.
"Well, I can't say I think of you as just a friend
" Naruto sighed, getting embarrassed he blushed a dark pink.
It was obvious when I kissed you" Naruto and Hinata both turned bright red at the memory. Naruto could feel the words forming in his mouth. He wanted to say it. The truth of his feelings.
"Hinata Hyuuga." His voice deep as he stared her in the eyes. His face completely serious.
"I love you" The moment the words escaped his lips he felt Hinata's lips press against his. Hinata was as surprised as him. The kiss was broken and Naruto peers past Hinata to see Hana grinning.
"Success!" Hana then stops, seeing her dad's annoyed face. She ran for it. Hinata, all the while blushing at the kiss. Naruto was about to chase after Hana but knew her well enough that she'd go to bed properly. Then, as if nothing had happened Hinata kisses Naruto. Naruto is shocked at first but is quick to enjoy it.
The two kiss throughout the night, Naruto holding Hinata close to keep her warm.