Author Note: Okay, just to make something clear. This story is a bit of an AU. Some of the events that happened before the beginning of the anime are different in this story. They will be explained when they are relevant, but for now, just know that if someone acts differently than you think they would, that's why. Hiashi is a great example of this. The way he acts is due to the pre-anime differences. Like I said, the story behind it will come out later. In the meantime, enjoy.
Naruto arrived at the Hyuga compound, holding a bouquet of lilies. Ino had explained that they symbolized devotion and that they were Hinata's favorite flowers. That last bit in and of itself was enough of a reason for Naruto to agree to her choice. He had paid for them, suspecting Ino was giving him a discount, but he didn't mind that. It had taken Naruto a bit of doing to convince Hinata to let him pick her up at home. She was afraid her father wouldn't approve, but he had an idea.
The Night Before
"B-B-But if you come to my home...Father might..." Hinata hesitated, not wanting to say what she was really afraid of.
"I know your father might see. That's exactly why I want to go there." She looked up at Naruto in surprise and confusion, but he continued, "I intend to ask his permission to date you. I want to show him that I'm worthy of you and that I have nothing to hide. And that's the best way I can think of to do it." They had been discussing this for about twenty minutes now, and Hinata kept trying to tell him she'd meet him somewhere else, but he was insistent.
"Well, if you're sure it's a good idea, Naruto."
He grinned and nodded. "I'm sure, Hinata. I don't want to hide this. I'm proud of you, as your father should be, and he should want you to be happy, so if he sees that I respect you and that I will treat you well, I doubt he'll object."
Hinata blushed deeply, then finally smiled and nodded as well. "Yes, Naruto, you're right. I don't want to have to hide it either. And you..." Her voice trailed off; Naruto looked at her, waiting, then she finally said, quieter, "...just having you pay attention to me...makes me very happy, Naruto." He smiled.
At The Hyuga Compound
Naruto smiled, thinking back on that. He felt very optimistic about tonight. He walked up to the door and knocked. It opened a moment later, and there stood Neji. Naruto saw the suspicious look in Neji's eyes, and he almost fled, but he stood his ground.
"Good evening, Neji." Neji almost jumped when Naruto addressed him with respect. Naruto even BOWED to him. Neji had a look that would rival Hinata's blush (he wasn't blushing, but he was highly shocked to the point he almost fainted). Naruto grinned and asked, "What, are you as much a fainter as Hinata?"
Neji tried to glower, but couldn't quite do it since he was still so surprised; instead, he opened the door further and gestured for Naruto to enter. Once he was inside, Neji closed the door, then asked, "What can I do for you, Naruto?"
"I was hoping to speak to Lord Hiashi, actually." While he was saying this, Naruto had set his bouquet down on a stand near the front door. Neji gave it an odd look, but Naruto didn't say anything about it.
Neji bowed, rather awkwardly, then said, "He is available; follow me please." With that, Neji walked down a nearby hallway. Naruto followed close behind. He heard Hinata's giggle as he passed one of the doors and knew she was there. He smiled. Then Neji stopped in front of a door, turned and looked Naruto up and down. Suddenly he realized something and had to ask. "Where's your old jumpsuit, Naruto?"
"Oh, right, that...I bought this last night." He was dressed in a three-piece suit, all of it jet black (this had to do with his plans for the night). He had actually gone alone the night before and bought it. It wasn't tailored to him, but it looked as if it were. "You'll see why I'm wearing it soon, Neji, don't worry." Neji let that go, and knocked on the door.
"Yes?" A voice came from the room behind the door.
"Lord Hiashi, you have a visitor," Neji said in his "servant" role.
"All right, show them in." Naruto was surprised Neji hadn't mentioned who he was, but Neji just opened the door and entered before Naruto.
"May I present Naruto Uzumaki, sir." Neji gave a small gesture for Naruto to enter, and he did. Naruto bowed low to Hiashi; Neji then bowed and took his leave. Hiashi visibly jumped in surprise, not only at the name, but at Naruto's behavior.
"Well, this is certainly a surprise, Naruto." Hiashi's face showed no emotion, as usual. Inside, he was rather shaken by this development and insanely curious. "What can I do for you, young man?"
Naruto straightened and stood straight, looking at Hiashi. "I have come to you tonight to ask you a favor, Lord Hiashi." Hiashi couldn't quite contain a jump at this. Not only because the young man was being so polite, but he was asking a favor of him AND calling him Lord, all of which he knew this boy in particular almost NEVER did.
"And what favor could I do for you, Naruto?" He was even more curious now, since this was obviously something the boy wanted badly, if he was going to all this effort.
"I have come to ask your permission to date your daughter, sir." Naruto bowed again, deeper than before.
Hiashi didn't realize what Naruto meant. His immediate thought was that Naruto meant Hanabi, which of course, Hiashi would refuse. He rose from his seat and almost yelled, "She is several years your junior! Why in the world would you date her?"
Naruto looked at him in confusion, and replied, "She's the same age as me, sir. What do you mean?"
Hiashi almost yelled again, then stopped. Maybe he didn't mean Hanabi. "Which daughter are you referring to, Naruto?"
Naruto looked almost as confused as Hiashi felt by now, but answered, "Hinata, of course."
Hiashi sat back down. Then he remembered something. Hinata had mentioned to him in passing that she had often hoped Naruto would notice her. Hiashi smiled. It seemed Naruto had finally done so. He couldn't help smiling at his daughter's fortune. She had earned the respect of himself, Neji, and her crush in the same day. He sat back and grinned, then decided to have some fun with the young boy. (To clarify, he had decided just then to allow Naruto to date Hinata.)
"I'm afraid I have to refuse." Naruto looked at him in shock, but Hiashi continued, hiding his smile carefully, "Unless, of course, you would be willing to show me you are worthy of my daughter."
Naruto looked slightly afraid, but nodded, asking, "What do I have to do, sir?"
Hiashi smiled, "It is customary in the Hyuga clan to only allow people who have taken blood oaths to date our heirs or heiresses." He was making this up off the cuff, but he rather liked the idea. "You would have to swear to never leave her, hurt her, or in any way cause her any mental or physical pain or anguish. And of course, if you broke this oath, your life would be forfeit immediately." He fully expected Naruto to tell him he was crazy, so the result he got shocked him.
Naruto immediately bit his thumb and inscribed in blood a symbol on his chest, which he had quickly bared, over his heart. He held up his hand and said, "I, Naruto Uzumaki, hereby swear to never leave Hinata Hyuga, to never hurt her, to never cause her any pain or anguish, and to always be there for her. If I break this vow, my life will end immediately." The blood on his chest glowed, then sank into his skin. Hiashi's jaw dropped. Naruto just grinned and asked, "Will that suffice, sir?" He then replaced his shirt and jacket, waiting for Hiashi to answer.
"I'm sorry, Naruto, I didn't mean for you to actually do that. I never intended to refuse you. However, you have shown me that you truly desire Hinata's happiness, and that makes you more than worthy of her. However, you do realize what you have just vowed essentially amounts to a wedding vow." Naruto nodded. "Are you sure you want to do that, when you have not even gone on a date with her yet?" He nodded again.
"I'm sure, sir. Hinata is precious to me, and I will protect her with my life." Hiashi nodded.
"Then I suppose I should go and get my daughter, shouldn't I?"
Naruto smiled, then bowed again. "That would be very kind of you, Lord Hiashi."
"Wait for us at the front door, please," Hiashi said, then arose. "I will bring her to you in a few moments, once she's ready."
"Thank you sir." Naruto bowed, then exited the audience chamber and went back to the front door, where he retrieved his bouquet and stood to wait for Hinata. Neji was still there, and looked at him curiously.
"What is that bouquet for, Naruto?" Neji had had enough and couldn't help asking.
"It's for Hinata." Neji looked surprised and got that fainting look back as Naruto continued, "It's for our date tonight."
"So that's why you wanted to speak to my uncle." Naruto nodded. "And I assume you got permission, seeing as you're still here, alive, breathing, and conscious." Naruto nodded again.
She had heard Naruto talking to Neji and had giggled and blushed, excited about tonight, but also afraid her father would say no. Then she heard her father's door open and close again ten minutes later, then again a minute after. Then she heard a knock on her own door and her father's voice rang out. "Hinata, may I come in?"
"Of course, Father." Her door opened and her father came in. She looked up at him and saw the stern look on his face. She hadn't heard the front door, but from the look on his face, she guessed he had told Naruto no. He came over and sat down on the seat by her bed. She hesitated, then asked, "What can I do for you, Father?"
"I just had a rather interesting visit with Naruto Uzumaki," he told her.
"Yes?" She was afraid of this. "And what was it about, Father?"
"He came to ask my permission to date you, as I suspect you already knew." She blushed, then nodded. "Of course, I refused." She looked away from him to hide the tears in her eyes. Hiashi smiled affectionately at his daughter, then continued, "I refused at first." She looked up at him, hope on her face.
"What do you mean, Father?"
"I mean I refused at first. Then, well, he changed my mind." He smiled at her. Suddenly her face brightened.
"Thank you, Father!" She cried out happily, then ran over and hugged him hard. He hugged her back softly, then sat her back down on her bed and said, "You'd better get ready, don't you think?" She nodded.
Then she had a thought, "How did he change your mind Father?"
"Ask him," he said, then left her room. He looked back before he closed the door. "I'll be right here to take you to him once you're ready." She blushed at that thought, but smiled happily as he closed the door. She had already chosen her outfit for the night, so all she had to do was get into it. She had showered not long ago, so it didn't take her long to come out of her room. Her father smiled at her as she came out. "You look beautiful, daughter." She smiled at him. He held out an arm to her, which she took and he escorted her out to where her date was waiting.
Naruto and Neji were talking about the training that was ahead of them, when they both heard steps coming toward them. Neji was the first to look and see Hiashi and Hinata together. His jaw dropped when he saw the long dress she was wearing. It went down to below her knees, and was solid black with a plaited skirt. Naruto saw her a moment later and smiled. He rose and bowed to both of them.
"You look beautiful, Hinata." He smiled at her as she blushed from his compliment.
"You look very handsome, Naruto," she said softly, smiling back. Then he held out the bouquet of while lilies he had gotten from Ino. She took them, smiling. "My favorite. How did you know?"
"I didn't. Ino told me." She smiled at his honesty and at the choice. Not only were lilies her favorite flower, they symbolized devotion, so of course she was happy at the choice Ino had made, and that Naruto had agreed. Then Hiashi held out his arm, with her other hand, and Naruto held out his hand; she took it, smiling at the formality. "Shall we go?" he asked her. She smiled up at Naruto and nodded quietly. She handed the bouquet to Neji, asking him if he'd put them in a vase for her. He nodded and walked off to get one.
"Have a good time tonight, you two," Hiashi said, smiling at them. "Have her back before midnight, Naruto."
Naruto bowed to him, and said, "Yes, sir."
Then they were outside. Hinata was still surprised by this turn of events. She looked up at Naruto, who smiled at her. She asked him, "How did you change Father's mind?" Naruto looked surprised.
"I'll tell you when we get to where we're going, all right?" She nodded. "And we'd better get going, or we're not going to have time to do all we have on the schedule for tonight."
She grinned, pulling herself closer to him, both her arms wrapped around the one of his that she'd been holding onto since her father had passed her to him. He was surprised, but pleased, and smiled at her. "I'm really glad I asked you to come out with me tonight, Hinata." She blushed and smiled.
"So where are we going, Naruto?"
"You ate already, right?" She nodded. "Well, first, I thought I'd take you out for dessert." With that, he headed toward a nearby bakery. She smiled, but hesitated.
"Are you sure you can afford this place, Naruto?"
Naruto nodded, then told her, "This place is owned by a friend of Teuchi's, from over at Ichiraku. He said to drop his name here, and the guy would take care of me."
So they entered. Hinata smiled as Naruto went to the counter and gave his name and Teuchi's. The owner came out and smiled. "You must be the young man Teuchi told me about. I've got your order ready, right here." So saying, he pulled a large covered tray out from under the counter. The aroma was enough to make Hinata's mouth water. Naruto handed the man some money, but he gently handed it back, saying, "Don't worry, this is on Teuchi." Naruto looked surprised, but the man said, "Teuchi told me if you came in here with a young lady, he'd cover your expenses." Naruto didn't want to accept this, but saw he had no choice. The man added, "Teuchi said to have you stop by and introduce your young lady, that's all he requires in pay for it." Naruto nodded.
They headed out of the door and Hinata commented, "That was nice of Teuchi."
Naruto nodded, then asked, "Would you mind stopping by there first? It's the least we can do since he's paying for this."
Hinata smiled, then told him, "I'll go anywhere, Naruto. So long as I'm with you, I'm happy." Naruto smiled and led her toward Ichiraku's.
On the way there, Naruto had a thought and started giggling. It got worse and worse, till he had to stop and calm down so that he could breathe. Hinata looked at him curiously, and he told her, "I just happened to think, this will be the first time I've ever gone to Ichiraku's without actually eating anything. But just having you with me more than makes up for it."
She smiled at him. That was high praise indeed, coming from him. Then she took his hand directly in hers and they continued on their way to Ichiraku's, both of them smiling peacefully.
When they arrived at the ramen stand, Naruto lifted the half-curtains out of the way and stepped inside, Hinata with him. He called out, "Hey old man! There's someone here I'd like you to meet." Teuchi looked over at them.
"Naruto! Hey! And who's this young lady you've got with you?"
"I'm Hinata Hyuga," said young lady answered, then blushed.
Teuchi grinned, "On your first date, huh, Naruto?" Naruto nodded proudly and Hinata blushed even redder. Teuchi smiled at her, "You look very lovely, young lady." She almost fainted, but fought it off.
"Thank you, sir." She said, curtsying to him. Just then, Ayame came out as well.
"And who do we have here?" she asked, smiling at Hinata.
"I'm Hinata Hyuga," Hinata said for the second time, curtsying to Ayame as well.
"It's nice to meet you, Hinata." Then she turned to Naruto and decided to needle him. "On your first date, huh?" He nodded proudly. "You treat her well, Naruto. A lovely young lady like this deserves it." He nodded again.
"I'd never do anything else, Ayame." They smiled at one another and Ayame winked at Hinata, who of course, blushed again.
"I went to that bakery you told me about, and he said you'd be covering the bill as long as I came by and introduced you to my date," Naruto jumped in. Teuchi nodded. "Thanks, old man. This really means a lot to me." Teuchi and Ayame smiled at their favorite customer.
"Either of you want anything? I'd be honored to serve at your first date," Teuchi said, smiling.
"No thanks, old man. We've already eaten dinner. And we're on a kinda tight schedule, so we need to get going," Naruto told him, looking somewhat chagrined.
Teuchi smiled. He wasn't hurt. "Well hey, you have to bring her by here sometime." Naruto grinned and nodded as Teuchi added, "It'll be a pleasure to get to know your young lady as well."
"Thanks, old man. Well, we better get going." With that, Naruto bowed to the two of them, and Hinata curtsied again as they left the shop.
"Those two make a cute couple," Teuchi and Ayame thought at the same time. They smiled, truly happy for Naruto.
Naruto turned to Hinata and asked her, "Ready?" She nodded and he said, "Come on then."
Ten Minutes Later
Naruto and Hinata arrived atop the Fourth Hokage's head, atop the mountainside images. Naruto had his hands over Hinata's eyes, to surprise her. She smiled, leaving her Byakugan off so as not to ruin it. As they arrived, he removed his hands and Hinata gasped. There was a table set up, with a checkered cloth covering it and a single candle lighting the area. She looked at her crush and he grinned at her, setting down the tray on the table. Then he came over and led her to one of the chairs and pulled it out for her. She smiled and sat down. He went around the table and sat across from her, then removed the lid from the tray. The aroma was making both their mouths water. Suddenly, Hinata realized what it was.
"Cinnamon rolls! How did you know, Naruto?" She couldn't believe this. First lilies, her favorite flower. Now her favorite food, too! Was he reading her mind or something?
He grinned. "I asked Neji. He told me they're your favorite, so of course that's what I got. And I had the baker make them extra sweet, just for you." She couldn't believe this. Extra sweet was just how she liked them!
Naruto reached over and cut the rolls. There were six of them in the tray, but they weren't small. He handed her one and took one for himself. Then he reached over and took her free hand gently in his, even though this meant he was eating left-handed. She smiled at his touch, then took her first bite and almost fainted from the taste. It was just that good. She loved it. With Naruto, this setting, all of it combined, it just seemed like a dream, a dream that was too good to be true, and yet here they were. She watched him take his first bite, somewhat slower than she had been, and as he chewed, she watched his face brighten.
"Wow, these are really good! I've never had them before!" Naruto exclaimed, smiling.
Hearing that, Hinata realized what was going on. Naruto had set all this up, bought her flowers, brought her to his special place, and bought her favorite food, even though he'd never even had them before. Wow. He was really going all out for her. She blushed at the thought, and tears of joy sprang to her eyes.
"Something wrong, Hinata?" he asked her.
"I was just thinking about everything you've done for me tonight. My favorite flowers, my favorite food, bringing me up here to your special place, that new outfit. You really are doing a lot to make this night memorable for me. And you even asked my father's permission to date me." She got up, walked over to him, and before she could lose her nerve, bent down to him and kissed him softly. "Thank you, Naruto."
He smiled, blushing slightly in surprise. "I wanted this to be the best night of your life, Hinata. So I found out about you, your favorite food, your favorite flowers, and I wanted to look good for you, so I dressed up, too. And as for your father, that was easy. I just wanted tonight to be special for you."
She smiled, sitting back down, then remembered what her father had said about Naruto changing his mind. "So, how did you change Father's mind, Naruto? You said you'd tell me when we got here, so tell me." As she was talking, Naruto had cut and handed her a second roll, seeing that she'd finished her first. He had only eaten half of his first.
"Well, your father told me there was a custom in your clan for when someone is dating the heir or heiress. He said it involved a blood oath to never leave them, hurt them, cause them any mental or physical pain or anguish, and to always be there for them. And that if the oath was broken, being a blood oath, the person's life would be forfeit." She looked surprised, realizing this was her father's way of toying with Naruto, but then he continued, "I bit my thumb, marked my heart, and took the oath on the spot." Now she looked shocked. "When I did that, he said I had shown that I truly desire your happiness and that doing so made me more than worthy of you."
"Naruto, you know there is no such tradition, right?" He nodded at her question.
"Your father told me that after I had done it. I don't think he expected me to do it, but I don't care. I was happy to do that for you." She smiled, blushing deep red. Then he continued, "Your father told me after I did it, that the vow I had just taken was essentially a wedding vow, and asked me if I was okay with that. I told him it was fine." She looked surprised. He added, "I meant that, too. I'm more than happy to vow to make you happy. As I told him, I'll protect you with my life, Hinata." She blushed, smiling.
"Are you sure about that, Naruto? I mean, we're only twelve, and you hardly even know me." She was almost afraid to say that, but it was true, and she thought it better to get it out now rather than waiting.
"I'm sure, Hinata. I know I don't know you yet, but that will change. I'll take as many hours, days, weeks, or even years as it takes, to get to know you. And I do realize you've always been there for me, so I know you're worth the time." He smiled at her, making her blush at this.
"Naruto, thank you."
"Think nothing of it, Hinata." Then he had a thought. "Actually, you want to make it up to me?" She looked slightly confused, then nodded. "All right, then I have an idea." He leaned over and whispered something in her ear. She blushed, but liked the idea, so she nodded. It would take them months to pull off his idea, but they smiled at one another and started making plans right away.
A short time later, they sat together and watched the sun set. After it had completely disappeared, they finished the roll they each had, and Naruto put the lid back on the tray, which still had three rolls in it, and handed it to Hinata. "You can have the ones that are left, Hinata. You like them more than I do." She smiled and blushed. Naruto had to ask, "Why are you always blushing around me, Hinata?"
"Well, it's just that I've always wanted you to acknowledge me, and when you talk to me, I feel so shy, so I usually end up feeling embarrassed and blushing. Why, does it bother you?"
He shook his head as they were walking away; he looked back and released the shadow clones he had; the table, chairs, candle, and cloth all vanished. (He had been using a shadow clone/transformation combination.) He laughed to himself, thinking how easy that cleanup was, then he escorted Hinata back home. When they arrived, he knocked on the door. While they waited, he kissed Hinata's lips gently, so that when Lord Hiashi opened the door, she was blushing like mad. He bowed to her father, and said, "I have returned your daughter to you, as per our agreement, sir." He smiled and held a hand out to Hinata, who took it gently, then turned back to Naruto. "Good night, Hinata. I'll see you soon." Naruto bowed.
"Good night, Naruto. I look forward to seeing you again soon." She curtsied to him.
Naruto stood, then said, "By the way, Hinata, how about we meet at the training ground tomorrow? I have something to show you."
"What time?" She asked him.
"Oh, say, noon? That way we can train on our own in the morning, and have the afternoon to train together?"
She looked at her father, who nodded. "Yes, Naruto. I'll see you at noon tomorrow."
They shared a smile, Naruto bowed to her and her father, then the door closed gently between them, and Naruto went home. He slept well that night, smiling as he dreamed.
"How was your date, Hinata?" Hiashi asked after Naruto was gone.
"It was great, Father. I think this was the best night of my life," she said, smiling at her father. Then Neji came up, having heard her. "Thank you Father, and you too, Neji."
Neji looked confused, so she explained what had happened, telling them both everything. Her two family members smiled at her, then she curtsied to both, saying she was tired and should get to bed. Suddenly, she remembered the rolls and handed them to her father. She explained they were the leftovers, and that she wanted to save them for breakfast the next day. He nodded and told her he'd take them to the kitchen for her. With that, she curtsied once more and practically skipped to her room.
As she lay there, drifting to sleep, her mind went over all that had happened that day. She had never felt so happy. She had had her first date, her first kiss, and both with Naruto. She fell asleep, smiling happily. Neither she nor Naruto realized it, but both of them fell into sleep at the exact same moment.