Chapter 2

The Party

Hinata entered the inn where the party was being held and instantly was blinded from stepping in from outside. Giving her eyes a few minutes to adjust she would see instantly why the party was here this year, for everyone here was as a couple and with it at an inn no one was expected home tonight. Looking around Hinata noticed that everyone was over by the karokee machine right next to the bar. Finding an empty chair by her friends Hinata went to sit with everyone, and then notices that everyone had stopped talking and looked at her. Shifting uncomfortably in her chair Hinata figured out that she was the topic of discussion.

Glancing at all of her friends in the eyes she then asks "is everything alright you guys?"

Temari is the first to recover sitting on Shikamaru's lap looking Hinata straight in the eye "we know you are leaving in the morning and we are going to help you tell Naruto how you feel before you go." Hinata starts too look for Naruto making sure he didn't hear the discussion when Temari continues "he is in the bathroom. You are going to tell him tonight before you go he deserves to know even if he is an idiot."

Glancing around Hinata noticed that all of her friends were nodding their heads in agreement; even Neji was what really threw her for a loop. Hinata then slightly blushes and says "I think I am going to need something to drink." Sakura then brings over a bottle of sake with a smile saying "this one is all yours. How you tell him is your business but we are tired of him not knowing and we are not going to tell him."

With that Naruto comes back to the group and looks at Hinata and says "Hey Hinata where you been. I haven't seen you around lately. Great party huh. I am so glad that I finally got Chounin. Now everyone lets party" and with that Naruto turned around to get the karaoke machine working.

Hinata takes a sip of her sake and looks at Naruto taking him in from bottom to top noticing his black shoes with black Jounin pants with pockets all over them to hold various items. 'He has defiantly gotten taller' thought Hinata 'now when he stands his butt, oh my god his butt looks nice in those pants' to his dark orange shirt and orange and black jacket. His face and matured still showing his whisker marks but filled out looking more like a man then the boy he once was. His hair was still a spiky blonde but what really got Hinata were his piercing blue eyes that just seem to look right into her soul.

With Naruto back all discussion of Hinata confessing went out the window for which she was thankful. If she did confess she was going to tell him in private and not in front of everyone and with that resolution Hinata gradually finished off her sake.

Conversations started flowing around Hinata again. Thinking this is the last time she will see her friends for a while she tries to put everything to memory knowing she can't take any pictures with her. A little sad about leaving that yet being happy she has friends like this bringing a small smile to Hinata's face.

There was Shikamaru holding Temari while glaring at Ino and Sakura fighting over the Karaoke machine saying 'troublesome women' which earned him a bop on the head from Temari. Kiba had found a girlfriend who actually works with his sister Hina at the veterinary clinic. So far they have been together for a year and it's looking pretty serious, plus she loves Akamaru which is great considering he is big enough to ride on now.

Shino was the biggest surprise of all considering he got married about six months ago with a woman named Anya from the Village of the Sand. Apparently he had met her a year ago when Gaara had sent for him to help with their as Gaara put it "bug problem." On that mission Shino found the love of his life and married her before the mission was complete. We were very surprised when he brought her home and even more surprised that she also is a bug carrier, although the last of her line.

Ino was also a big surprise for she was bouncing back and forth between two guys. She wasn't sure if she was in love with Choji who was her bestfriend or with Sai who was the newest member of Team Seven. Choji seems ok with just being friends but I think he loves her also because he did offer her the last chip from his bag once. Sai on the other hand is loud and obnoxious who likes to make perverted remarks, but on the plus side he is really good looking. Unfortunately his attitude is not something to be desired. Hopefully Ino will make up her mind soon.

Rock Lee is still sporting his green spandex and still does his 'good guy' pose while yelling about the SPRING TIME OF YOUTH. He still is in love with Sakura and from what Sakura was telling me once in the hospital was that he wasn't always like that. I think Sakura is getting a little crush on Lee but then that means she would be giving up on Sasuke so she isn't sure what to do. I did find out though that she only thinks of Naruto as a friend though, or like a younger brother so I feel a lot better on that front knowing that she is all for my having a relationship with Naruto.

TenTen and Neji have started dating a few months ago and actually look really cute together. What most people don't know about them is that TenTen had to beat Neji in combat in order for him to go on a date with her. Once she found that out TenTen went all out to beat him feeling better that if she fought with all of her might she had a chance instead of worrying about hurting him. With this revelation she finally beat him in a match, although I seriously think Neji was happy she was pursuing him as hard as she did and let her win, but he would never admit it and neither would she.

Gaara had decided not to come being the Kagekaze but has extended an invite for any of us to visit. Kankuro also decided to stay home saying that someone had to protect Gaara from going crazy with all of the paperwork. After a while Hinata have come to actually consider Gaara a close friend of hers along with Temari and Kankuro, especially since they considered Naruto family. Hinata had figured that anyone who treats Naruto good was good in her eyes whether they hold a demon in them or not. After a year with the sand siblings visiting so Gaara could get relations negotiated with Tsunade with peace treaties and trade routes established Hinata also has come to consider them family.

With her first bottle gone and still not feeling brave enough to tell Naruto yet she was given another bottle by Temari. Hinata wasn't going to start the next bottle until she saw something that made her want to drink. Naruto was hanging over by Sakura all night long. Everywhere Sakura went Naruto was following with his own bottle of sake in hand. It wasn't hard to see that he was trying to ask her on a date, but wasn't giving up and every time Hinata noticed she took a drink, hoping that that sake would give her courage or at least take the sting out of his rejection.

Around midnight Hinata had finished off the two bottles of sake courtesy of Sakura and Temari and was starting to feel the results. Every time she looked at Naruto she didn't even stutter or blush which is great considering he's the only one she does that too anyways. Making her way to Temari, Hinata said slurring "I'm ready to tell Naruto-kun how I feel but I don't want to do it down here in front of everybody what should I do?"

"Sit down Hinata" Temari said "let me go and arrange something" and with that she went off in search of Sakura freeing her from Naruto when he went to the bathroom. Seeing Sakura and Temari looking at Hinata and Naruto with a glint in there eyes wasn't boding with Hinata but she felt she had to get this done. After all she was leaving in a few hours and who knows when she will be back.

Temari came back with a smirk and told Hinata "he will be in the room at the top of the stairs. Good luck Hinata and don't forget to let us know how it goes." With her pack in her hand Hinata climbed the stairs to the awaiting Naruto.