It took 10 dates for Naruto to kiss her.
It was their tenth date – not that Hinata was counting or anything…
Oh! Who am I kidding?
She was definitely counting. Each date had been absolutely amazing – all because she was with Naruto. She had Naruto’s undivided attention; he was finally looking at her! He must have liked what he saw, too, because one date had turned into two dates. Two dates had become three, then four, and now… ten! They had eaten lunch at Ichiraku Ramen, strolled through the Konoha Public Park, saw the latest movie starring Fujikaze Yukie (Naruto’s favorite actress), and watched the sunset from the Hokage monument.
Hinata sighed happily thinking of all their dates. This time, they were having a picnic outside of the village. Naruto had found the perfect spot by a small lake – and told her to bring a swimsuit so that they could go swimming afterwards. Truthfully, it wouldn’t have mattered to Hinata if they just spent all their time at Ichiraku Ramen. As long as she was with Naruto, she would have been perfectly happy. But Naruto turned out to be a surprisingly considerate date. He put a lot of thought into where to take her and always made sure she had a good time.
I wish he would kiss me.
She blushed at the thought. Naruto had been a perfect gentleman each time they went out. He held her hand – and sometimes he hugged her. It was wonderful… only Hinata wanted him to want her, too. Maybe he would kiss her today?
Hinata hummed as she finished preparing their picnic lunch and packed everything carefully into a large basket. She couldn’t wait to see Naruto again!
Naruto lay back on the picnic blanket content. Hinata had amazing culinary skills. (Which was good because Naruto’s culinary skills consisted of pre-made ration bars, pouring milk for cereal, and boiling water for instant ramen.) For their picnic, she had made finger sandwiches, onigiri, cake, and homemade ramen (with the noodles and the broth packed in separate thermoses so that the noodles wouldn’t get soggy). He watched his girlfriend re-pack the empty food containers and dirty utensils into the basket.
Hinata surprised him.
Despite what he’d said about giving their relationship a chance and asking her out on their first date, he never expected to like her as more than a friend. But she surprised him. The more he learned about her, the more he liked her. She was sweet, funny, and kind. She had a sense of humor. She was fun to tease. She didn’t mind any of his quirks – instead she found them cute. She seemed genuinely happy to be in his company – even when they weren’t doing anything. He found himself looking forward to their dates, like a child anticipating Christmas. He found himself going out of his way to see her – even when they didn’t have anything planned because she always made him feel like smiling. He found himself missing her when he didn’t get to see her every single day.
That last revelation surprised him – and scared him more than he wanted to admit because...
I think I’m falling in love with her.
“A yen for your thoughts?”
“Are you sure they're worth that much?” Naruto joked as he sat up.
“Probably not,” Hinata teased. She smiled at his pouting face. “I’m just kidding, Naruto-kun. They’re actually worth much more than that. But a yen is all I have. What were you thinking so seriously about?”
“I was just thinking…”
About how amazing you are…
“… about going for a swim. Want to check out the water? It looks great.”
After an hour in the water, Naruto had enough. He sat on the bank in only his dark orange swim trunks letting the sun dry him off and lazily watched his girlfriend on the water. He’d always thought she was cute – in that girl-next-door kind of way. But he’d only ever seen her in very modest (and somewhat unflattering) clothing. In what she was wearing now – a dark purple one-piece swimsuit – “cute” didn’t do her justice. She had toned muscles and no extra fat anywhere – thanks to years of ninja training – with a slim waist and curves in all the right places. After three years of training under the self-proclaimed “super-pervert” also known as Jiraya of the Sanin, Naruto had learned to appreciate the beauty of the female body – in a purely aesthetic way, of course. Any other way, and both Tsunade-baa-chan and Sakura would pound him into the ground. Naruto shuddered inwardly.
Hinata was hot. Why had he never noticed before? Naruto nervously looked over his shoulder – almost expecting his wayward thoughts to conjure up either Tsunade-baa-chan or Sakura.
Ero-sennin would love to peep on Hinata-chan. The thought of Ero-sennin (or anyone else for that matter) watching Hinata and appreciating her physical “assets” made him angry and fiercely protective. If he tries, I’ll shove a Rasengan up his ass!
Hinata was using chakra to stand on top of the water – and practicing her chakra control and doing some sort of water-based jutsu. She almost looked like she was dancing. There was something familiar about her movements, as if he’d seen them before somewhere. Naruto was not a genius – but he had a very good memory for jutsu.
That can’t be right, though. I’ve never seen Hinata practicing on water before.
Still… there was something right there in the back of his mind. If only he could remember what it was! He watched mesmerized… until Hinata twirled and spun, causing the water to rise with her chakra to form into a sphere around her… and the nagging memory clicked. Naruto sucked in a deep breath. No way! That was Hinata?
Hinata loved the water. She had a natural affinity for it; she was good at using water-based jutsu. Having been labeled a failure for most of her early life, Hinata reveled in her ability to manipulate water so flawlessly. Practicing on water was more fun and invigorating than practicing on land. When Naruto stopped swimming to rest on the bank, she started practicing a few chakra control exercises and some simple katas. Soon, she was so lost in her own little world that she completely forgot that she still had an audience. Her body moved on autopilot – and performed her original jutsu, Shugo Hakke Rokujuuyonshou (Guardian Eight Divination Signs, Sixty-Four Palms of the Hand), with her eyes closed.
“That was you.”
Hinata gasped and opened her eyes. Naruto was standing on the water less than ten feet away. He was staring at her like he’d never seen her before. She blushed under the intensity of his gaze.
“All those years ago… on that mission to find the Bikochu, that girl dancing in the waterfall… the girl I thought I’d dreamed… that was you.”
With every word he spoke, he took another step forward until he was standing right next to her – and so close that they were practically touching. The way he was looking at her… like he found her irresistible… made her feel flustered and strangely restless. Suddenly, it became difficult to breathe. Hinata had to look away.
Naruto’s hand gently grasped her chin and tilted her head back up to face him. Time seemed to slow down.
“Beautiful,” he whispered.
And then between one heartbeat and the next… He captured her lips in a searing kiss that made her burn.
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