I do not own Naruto or any of the characters in the Narutoverse. They belong to Masashi Kishimoto.
Read the second part: Shugosha Preview (Part 2): Where's Hinata?
Now that everyone was complete again and they were safe, Hinata proceeded to the kitchen and started to cook breakfast. Ino teased her by telling Naruto how dedicated she was on making ramen for his birthday. Hinata blushed and busied herself on the kitchen table, her back turned to them.
She could hear feet loudly tapping on the ground and she turned for a quick glance. An excited Naruto was jumping up and down, beaming one of the brightest smiles he wore this week. Hinata's heart race and warmth flooded her. It was nice to see him back to his old self.
The other girls approached the kitchen and helped her prepare breakfast while the other boys decided to bathe in the waterfall. The remaining boys gave assistance to the girls. Shikamaru was the only one left sleeping.
Hinata was boiling water on a huge pot for the ramen when Naruto came in from the hall with a towel in hand. She jumped when he yelled.
"You guys used my money to buy all these stuff, dattebayo?!"
Hinata inwardly winced while the others offhandedly said yes.
Naruto's eyebrows started twitching. She knew he'd be mad.
He gritted his teeth. "You guys forgot to wake me up or what? You could've asked me first, dattebayo!"
Tenten smiled at him sweetly. "We didn't wanna wake you."
"Or disturb you while you're sleeping," Sakura added.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Would you relax? It's not like we emptied your card. You probably still have some money left to leave the city."
Hinata swore she saw smoke coming out of Naruto's ears. "That's not it, dattebayo! You're wasting my money! Just what do you think Sarutobi-ojichan will do?! He's going to be so mad! You bought eleven toothbrushes, dattebayo! Eleven!"
Neji lifted an eyebrow. "You already have a toothbrush."
Naruto pumped down both his fists and leaned his head toward Neji who turned away with his eyes closed. "That's not what I'm saying, Neji! That's not what I'm saying, dattebayo!"
Kiba stuck his pinky into his ear and scowled. "Listen, Naruto. Are you done throwing a tantrum? 'Cause you probably gave our friends a direction to find us here with all your wailings."
Kiba sneered a chuckle. "See what I mean?"
Naruto continued to rant. "You're—"
"Will you shut up already?!" Ino yelled.
Naruto stepped back with a frightened look.
"Mattaku," Ino mumbled. "Once we get home alive, we'll have our parents pay you back. No problem."
Hinata felt her face flushed with heat, then said with a small voice. "I—I'm sorry, Naruto-kun." She recalled she wrote a lot of ingredients on the grocery list.
Sakura fussed at Naruto and hissed, "Look what you've done."
Naruto's face was marred with guilt. He hurriedly explained, "Uh . . . no, it's okay, Hinata! It's fine, really, dattebayo! Don't worry about it, I was just messing around. Do—don't feel bad!"
Hinata stared at him surprised by the sudden change of demeanor.
Sakura groaned. "Just go to the waterfall already, so we could start cooking!"
Naruto stiffened. "H—Hai." He dashed outside the backdoor.
Hinata followed his trail with a smile. He was still considerate about other people's feelings.
"Well, I'm going to take a shower upstairs," Ino declared.
"I thought you were going to help, Ino-buta?" Sakura scowled at her best friend.
Ino started to walk away. "Yeah, but no one's upstairs but Shikamaru. This is my only opportunity to use the bathroom without the perverts around."
Kiba snorted and Ino disappeared around the hallway.
Without any more distractions, the rest of them carried on with their task.
Neji was helping Hinata make the soup for the ramen. He asked if she was feeling light-headed or anything that made her feel sick and suggested that the others could take over for her so she could rest. She reassured him that she was fine and that she didn't want to sit idly by. He was probably still thinking about what happened last night.
"If you're feeling anything or concerned about something, just tell me," Neji told her.
She smiled and complied with his wish. "I will, Ni-san." And she would have to be careful next time not to cause another scene. According to Ino, Neji was not a pretty sight to behold when he was on his 'anxiety mode'.
Sasuke was helping Tenten set the table—cleaning the plates, spoons, bowls and chopsticks. Their usually aloof friend was in a good mood today. He was picking on Tenten for not participating on making dishes, stating she didn't know how to do any house chores. Tenten was playfully pinching his ears every time he teased her.
"Just place this over there," Tenten passed a bowl and pointed at an empty space on the table.
"Yes, your majesty," Sasuke took it with a light bow.
Tenten back-slapped his shoulder with her hand.
Sasuke tugged on her ear to which she groaned in frustration at. She made a move to pull his hair, but he moved on to the other side of the table, grinning.
Hinata smiled fondly at them. Sasuke didn't always joke around with people, he was usually annoyed and sarcastic. And they were all aware that Tenten did in fact know how to cook and do house chores.
Meanwhile, by the kitchen table, Kiba was purposely giving Sakura trouble while she help with the ingredients for Hinata's soup and prepare their other dish, tamago kake gohan. She was fussing at him, telling him he was slowing her down.
"Tsk!" Sakura groaned, "Kibaaa."
"Naniii?" Kiba mocked her tone.
"Go away." Sakura cut more narutomaki fish cakes.
"Gah, you're making too many! Do you know cutting too many fish cakes is a sign of bad luck? I mean, Naruto could be screaming in agony by now."
"Shut up already." Sakura chuckled.
"I'm serious," Kiba insisted.
They continued their banter, escalating to Kiba poking Sakura's side and receiving punches on his shoulder in return. She then told him to make himself useful and boil some eggs which he obliged.
Hinata smiled at the light atmosphere around them. For a time, Hinata forgot about the events yesterday and her conversation with Shino last night.
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