Author Note: I'm trying something different with this fic. Parts of it will be written in "stream of consciousness" as it's called. So if parts of it don't seem to follow logic or seem like non-sequiturs, that's why. Also, this fic will focus on what goes on in the village proper, and will probably be filled with time-skips, just fair warning. Anyway, enjoy! I don't own Naruto. Also, WARNING: This chapter contains a lemon, my first, so be kind.

Chapter 1

A young blond boy ran through the streets of Konohagakure. He was fleeing from upper-level ninja. Again. His most recent prank had resulted in about fifty of Konoha's ANBU having their masks painted solid red, thereby destroying them, so now a large group of them were pursuing him. To their shock and consternation, the boy eluded them at every turn. They'd spot him for a few moments just to lose him again seconds later. They were the elite of the village, and this twelve-year-old boy was outrunning and eluding them! This was ridiculous!

Who was this boy? Well, his name meant next to nothing, even to those who knew him. His name was Naruto Uzumaki. But who was he? He was twelve years old, a prankster, an orphan, a knucklehead, a newly-minted Genin, and, most believed, a complete and total moron. He had tried to pass the Academy finals three times, and he had failed every time. He just couldn't master the Clone Jutsu, a very simple jutsu to everyone else in the village. Thus, everyone...well, almost everyone, believed he was just too stupid to get it, and, therefore, that he was a total idiot. They seemed to disregard the fact he had learned the Shadow Clone Jutsu in mere hours; that was, after all, what allowed him to pass the exam the last time he took it.

The boy did have one person who truly liked him and had for a long time, though he didn't know that, or, at least, everyone assumed he didn't know. Her name? Another that never meant much to even those who knew her: Hinata Hyuga. Who was she? She was, to those in her family, a failure, weak, a disgrace, and, oddly, the heiress to the Clan Head. To those who knew her from the Academy, she was a shy, timid girl who had a massive crush on the village's resident knucklehead, Naruto. To said blond, she was his stalker. If someone had heard Naruto knew of Hinata's habit of following him and watching him, they would have either called the one telling a liar or laughed. He was so stupid he couldn't even master one of the simplest jutsu in existence, yet he knew a very stealthy girl was following him? Yeah, right, and his father was the Fourth Hokage! Wait...

The fact was, however, Naruto did know Hinata was always there. He had seen her a couple times, and he could always sense her presence; having grown up being alone all the time, he was very skilled at sensing the presence of others near him. What Naruto didn't know, however, was why the girl followed him; he had an inkling as to why, but he wasn't sure and his idea was so ridiculous to his mind he generally disregarded it. And so it was that Naruto, while running from the ANBU, was thinking of the shy girl.

"Why does she always follow me, watching me like that?" he asked himself. "Oh, shit, I better move, ANBU getting closer. Hinata's always following me, watching me train. Is she trying to get my secrets for some reason? Did her clan send her to spy on me, maybe?" Naruto, while thinking about that, remembered hearing Sakura and Ino, two of his other fellow Genin, talking about Sasuke and saying something about how "hot" he would look without his shirt on. He had no idea why they said that, but it gave him an idea. Naruto was nothing if not a prankster, after all. "Maybe I'll just give Hinata a little show next time she's watching me," he thought to himself. He looked up and saw the group of ANBU he'd been avoiding all heading to the Hokage tower. He grinned. "Ha ha! They gave up! Yep, I'm just that awesome!" With that, the boy made his way to the main gates of the village to pick up his stalker; he happened to know she had completed her last mission for the day recently and would likely be there. He chuckled at himself as he thought of that; it sounded kinda crazy to intentionally allow his stalker to follow him, but that was what he was going to do.

Hinata, meanwhile, was just meandering around the village, hoping to find Naruto. She was so used to following him every day, she didn't really know what to do with herself on days when she couldn't find him. She didn't know what he did on those days, obviously, though she'd often wondered. Hinata berated herself almost daily on her lack of courage; she followed Naruto not with the intention of stalking him, but in hopes of one day being able to talk to him, yet to this day she had never once been able to do any more than follow and watch him. She thought a couple times he had almost...there he was! She had been walking more or less aimlessly while thinking about this, and when she looked up as she neared the village gate, there he was, just a little bit down the street. He seemed to be thinking about something, but when he heard her step...did he look at her? She thought he did, but no, that couldn't be right, could it?

Hinata kicked herself mentally for her fantasies. He would never see her. She sighed. After all, he had that crush on Sakura...he was leaving! Hinata moved quickly, keeping him in her sights and keeping herself hidden carefully. Since she was behind him, she couldn't see the smirk on his face as he felt her coming after him.

A few minutes later, Naruto had arrived in a small clearing with a stream running through it; there was a deep pool at one edge of the clearing. Naruto grinned at the water, knowing it would be cool, but not cold. Naruto loved swimming, and this was one of his favorite spots. Naruto chuckled quietly, knowing Hinata was hiding in a nearby tree, watching his every move. He suspected her Byakugan was active; she was using a tiny bit of chakra. Or maybe that was to keep her rooted to the tree? It didn't matter, she was there and watching, that's all that mattered. He looked around, as if checking for anyone nearby.

Hinata gasped and nearly fell from the tree where she was perched when Naruto looked around like he was looking for anyone who might see him and seemed to look straight at her for several moments. Then his eyes passed on, and she breathed a sigh of relief. He hadn't seen her. Then she got the shock of her young life. As she watched, Naruto shucked his clothes. What in the world was he doing? As she watched, he stripped down first to just his boxers, then, with a cursory look around, he took those off as well. Hinata gasped; it took all her willpower to stay conscious, and there was a trickle of blood seeping from her nose. She could see every inch of his toned body. She knew he was muscular before, but now she could see how his muscles rippled with every motion he made.

Naruto laughed to himself as he dove into the water. He stayed underwater, where Hinata wouldn't hear him, and laughed long and hard. After his laugh, he surfaced and began to swim, his arms and legs propelling him through the water like a missile. He swam fast, loving the feel of the water skimming over his skin. He always loved swimming; somehow, his body always felt at its most natural in the water. He chuckled as he thought of what he was doing, then rolled onto his back and began backstroking.

Hinata worried for a moment when Naruto was underwater so long, but when he came up, she saw he was all right and just watched, amazed at how his muscles moved mere inches below his skin, how they rippled as they forced his body through the water. She was just getting used to seeing this much of him, when he rolled onto his back. Suddenly, she was seeing the front of his body! The nosebleed she'd only just stopped started up again. Her face was so red the blood on her lip blended into the tone of her skin. She'd never once dreamed she'd see this! Even with her Byakugan, which could see through things (such as clothes), the view wasn't this clear. Yet now, here she was, looking at his body in the sunlight, nothing covering him at all. She heard him chuckle and wondered what he was thinking about. If only she could talk to him, they could be swimming like that together! Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head at that thought, and the flow of blood from her nose increased a bit.

Naruto had always had very acute senses, particularly of smell and hearing, so when he began to hear something dripping, it didn't take him long to realize he was hearing Hinata's blood dripping onto the leaves at the bottom of the tree where she was sitting. His intention had been to embarrass the girl and possibly to make her leave and stop watching him, but it would seem something was wrong. Maybe she was hurt? He didn't want that. And maybe...maybe if he called her out, she would stop hiding...and...join him? Where in the world did he come up with that? He thought about it a moment and realized he would rather like to have her join him, though he still had no idea where the thought had originated.

"Hinata?" his voice rang out over the clearing, causing the shy girl to gasp in shock. He knew she was there? Had he known all along? No, that didn't make sense, if he'd known, why would he...unless...he wanted her to see him? No, why would he want that? He didn't like her...did he? That wouldn't make sense, but still...she wondered what he was going to say. Would he be angry for her watching him? Or would he... "Why don't you come down from that tree and join me?" Hinata pinched herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming. He really had asked her to come join him! She slowly slid down from the tree, her face red, her eyes full of hope and fear.

Naruto floated to the shore to wait for Hinata, who approached a moment later. He looked up at her, a little worried at her red face and the slight trail of blood coming from her nose. Was she hurt? No, she didn't seem to be. He gave her a gesture to get in with him. "I-I-I c-c-can't," Hinata stammered. "I d-don't h-have m-my swimsuit w-with m-me." He felt her eyes sweeping his body and noticed the blood from her nose increased slightly. Oh, ho! So she was perving for him was she? Oh, now, wasn't that just cute? Well, he'd just see about that!

Hinata blushed even redder than before as her thoughts became somewhat more dirty. How would it feel to touch his body, to feel him react to her touch? She knew what happened to a man's body when he was excited. What would it feel like to have him become hard under her touch? She was so wrapped up in her thoughts, she almost didn't hear him. "No one's around, Hinata," he said. "Besides, I'm naked, so just strip down, come on in. No one will see you but me, and I can tell you want that anyway." She blushed even deeper, which Naruto hadn't thought was possible. He knew! She thought her feelings were well-hidden, yet in mere moments he had not only figured out that she was perving on him, but that she wanted him to feel the same for her! Hinata sat down as a wave of dizziness swept over her.

"A-All r-right, N-Naruto," she said. "I'll come in with you." Naruto grinned. He was going to get to see just what the shy girl was always hiding under that jacket of hers! He watched, his attention focused on Hinata, as she slowly removed her clothes. He felt like he was watching a professional strip-tease or something. He smiled at the thought, knowing Hinata was really just shy and unsure about doing this. Soon, her body was revealed to him. Naruto gasped. How the hell did she hide all that? She was more well-developed than most girls three years older than her! Yet he never noticed because of that jacket of hers. At this thought, he turned and glared at the offending piece of clothing. He realized, really, that her wearing it would mean only he had ever seen her like this, but he still harbored a slight grudge against it, since it had hidden her from him for so long. He looked at her again and felt not only his face getting hot, but a slight trickle of blood seeping from his nose. He gasped. He was perving for Hinata! He gulped. For some reason, he suddenly felt anxious, nervous, like she might reject him. Then Naruto thought about what he'd seen today. Hinata was perving for him, which, he concluded, was why she'd always followed him. And now he was perving for her...

"H-Hinata?" he said, his voice unsure. Hinata looked up at him, shocked to hear him stuttering. Could it be...she noticed he had a slight nosebleed and was staring at her body. She knew she got nosebleeds like that from seeing his body and from having those dirty thoughts about him...was he...? She blushed and smiled at him, giving him a gesture to go ahead with what he wanted to say. "C-Come on in," he said, blushing deeply as he realized she could think he was trying to proposition her by saying that. Hinata didn't say anything, just slowly slid into the water, grateful at least that her body would be hidden from view. She blushed as she thought of how Naruto had been eying her body. He had looked so...hungry? He'd looked like he wanted to never stop looking at her. And she was sure he had been having thoughts similar to her own about touching him. That look in his eyes, he was so...her thoughts trailed off into nothing as Naruto came to her and rested his hands on her shoulders.

"N-Naruto?" she said, looking into his blue eyes; she could still see the hunger in them, the desire. Naruto was thinking at that moment of how her eyes, so like pearls, which he had always thought were cold as stone were actually so full of emotion and so expressive. He could see in her eyes that she had nothing but love for him and that his touch was making her excited, nervous, and aroused. She was aroused by him? That made no sense, why would...she was blushing again. He reached up and experimentally placed a hand on her cheek; he couldn't help being a little aroused himself by the deepening of her blush. He slowly moved closer to her, his eyes drifting closed.

Hinata gasped at his touch. She felt him moving closer and instinctively moved with him, closing her eyes as well when she saw him closing his. She put her arms slowly around his chest and linked her hands behind his back, her hands resting between his shoulder blades, and the two kissed, softly at first, then passionately. Hinata opened her eyes. Naruto looked surprised, but he didn't pull away, much to her delight. She gasped, but smiled, when he moved closer still, till their bodies were touching one another; she was surprised, but delighted, when she felt his arousal touching the inside of her leg. Hinata knew, at that moment, she would have been wet even if she hadn't been in the water. She blushed deeply; after all, she'd always been taught such things were disgraceful, dirty, and should never be allowed to happen, much less when in the company of another. Unfortunately for her, when it came to Naruto, she just couldn't help it.

Naruto smiled at Hinata's reaction to his touch and began to move his hands over her body. His hands stroked the pale flesh of her arms gently, squeezed her shoulders, rubbed her neck, all of which was incredibly erotic for the pale girl. He rubbed her back, his hands traveling over her bottom briefly. His hands explored her legs, down to her feet, then back up the inside to her core. By now, Hinata was so hot the skin on her whole body was turning red as her blood pumped fiercely through her. His hands were rough, yet so gentle...Hinata was glad at that moment she wasn't standing up on the ground, for if she had been, she felt certain her knees would have given out and she'd have fallen. Naruto continued his exploration of the girl's body, rubbing the back of her knees in an extremely erotic manner. Soon, his hands had traveled back up her body, stroking her belly gently and moving on to touch her breasts. Hinata gasped at this; it was the first time anyone else had touched them. She clung to Naruto to keep herself from falling underwater.

Naruto smiled as he felt Hinata cling to him. He had been exploring her body with his hands, finding it fascinating, and her reactions had only encouraged him. He'd been curious about her breasts for a while; they were different from his body, after all, and, unlike their other glaring difference, this was an addition. When he touched them and she grabbed him like that, it aroused him even more, and she seemed to be enjoying it as well. Naruto began to experiment, pinching Hinata's nipples and rubbing them between two fingers. She moaned softly, obviously loving it, so he leaned down and sucked on one gently; to put it lightly, Hinata was quivering from excitement at this. Naruto had just given one of Hinata's breasts a light nip when...

BEEP BEEP BEEP! Naruto sat up at the sound and blinked, looking around his small apartment in confusion. He groaned and gripped his head between his hands. It was a dream. What the hell was that all about? Naruto was about to stand up to get ready for his day when he felt a strange tugging sensation at the back of his neck, and the next thing he knew, he was back in the dream. Knowing now that it was in fact a dream, he decided to just go with it.

Hinata noticed that Naruto fell still for a moment, his teeth brushing her breast. The moment of stillness was incredibly erotic; her hard nipple was in Naruto's mouth, his teeth just touching her tender skin, and he had stopped moving. Why this was so erotic, she wasn't sure, but something about it was arousing her even more. Then he seemed to change slightly as his motion began again. He pulled her closer to himself. Her breasts were now somewhat squashed against him. The feel of his firm pecs against her soft breasts was making her feel slightly faint, but, for some reason, she was nowhere near fainting. Then Naruto did something that Hinata never expected. He bit her! Not hard at first, just enough for her to feel it; he had bitten her arm, just below the shoulder. It was so erotic, she couldn't help a moan escaping her lips. Her eyes closed, and her moan seemed to have excited Naruto, as he bit her again, a little harder, this time on her neck, which made her pant in her arousal. Then Naruto began to touch her again, his hands exploring every inch of her body as he nipped her neck over and over again, softly now, then harder, then softly again. She could hardly breathe by this point, she was so excited.

Naruto grinned at the girl in his arms. Everything he did just seemed to excite her more! This was certainly an amazing dream. Her body against his, so vivid he swore he could really feel it, her skin in his teeth, his tongue running over her skin, so vivid he knew he would taste it when he woke. Her scent, like lavender and lilacs, was so pervasive he would have been shocked to learn it wasn't on his body. He moved slowly underwater, nipping her neck, then down to her breasts, over her belly as he moved, and running his fingernails down her back slowly, applying slightly more force to them the lower he got. By the time he reached the small of her back, he was leaving slight scratches on her back.

Hinata gasped as she felt his teeth exploring her body. He seemed intent to taste her entire body before deciding what to do with her. Then she felt his nails on her back. When he got to the small of her back, she felt them scratching her just a little. She blushed deeper than ever and trembled from head to toe at the sensation. Naruto was marking her! He was marking her as his own; it was not only a mark of her being his, but a warning to all others to stay away from her! The very thought was enough to arouse her on a whole new level that she had never in her life felt. Then she felt something she'd never even dared to dream of before. Naruto kissed the lips of her vagina! He had been nipping her belly for some time as he scratched her back, then suddenly he kissed her there! She shivered; the water was cold, but this was a shiver of excitement. Moments after this, Naruto surfaced in front of her, a huge grin on his face.

Naruto was pleased with the way Hinata had reacted to his ministrations. He stood there for a moment, then got a surprise of his own. Hinata, in her excitement, forgot to be embarrassed and kissed him passionately, deeply. Naruto, surprised, couldn't think of anything to do but return it. He pulled back after a few moments, breathing heavily, very aroused himself now. Then Hinata said something that surprised him. "Naruto...oh, Naruto," she said softly. "How I wish this wasn't just a dream, that this was real. If only this was real, I could tell you how much I truly love you, how much I've wanted this with you and only you, and how I'll never want anyone but you." Naruto, needless to say, was stunned.

"H-Hinata," he said, a blush on his face now as her words excited him even more. "Do you really mean all that? I mean, not just in this dream, do you really mean it?" Hinata was a little taken aback by his question, but her dreams were always a bit weird when it came to Naruto (and she knew this had to be a dream by now; if not, she would have fainted several times over), so she simply smiled at him and nodded, her eyes locked with his. She knew her own eyes were filled with love and lust, and she saw the same things reflecting back to her in his eyes. Naruto pulled her against him, his erection pressing against her opening slightly, which of course aroused her all the more; she knew where this dream was going now; if there was any question before, there wasn't now. Then she heard Naruto speak again. "Remember this, Hinata, I need to know if this is real, so when you wake up, I want you to meet me at the building three doors east of Ichiraku's. If you're there, I'll know you dreamed this too; if not, I'll know it was only me." Hinata gasped. Was Naruto dreaming this, too? No, that made no sense, but from what he said...oh, but then...

"I can't," Hinata said. Naruto looked at her, worried. "I'm still in the hospital from the fight with Neji, remember?" she reminded him.

Naruto looked disappointed for a moment, then smiled his trademark grin. "Can I come visit you then?" he asked her. Hinata wasn't about to pass that up. She nodded vigorously.

"I would love to have you come visit me, Naruto," she said. Naruto didn't answer that with words. Instead, he lifted her legs up so that she was floating on her back in the water. Naruto pulled her crotch to him and Hinata got a huge shock. He began to kiss and lick at her, like he was tasting her! Hinata moaned loudly, not worrying about being heard anymore, since she knew it was a dream. Then something happened that had never once happened in her dreams before: he slipped his tongue INTO her! Hinata felt like a huge explosion had gone off inside her at that. Naruto moved his tongue inside her, experimenting with this like he had everything so far. When her moans increased, he did that more, when they subsided, he tried other things. Granted, the latter case was rare, since everything he did seemed to make her moan.

Hinata was officially in shock now. Her body had ascended to a whole new level of pleasure she'd never even imagined possible before. As his tongue moved within her, she moaned and squirmed, her hands fisting in his gold hair, which she was surprised felt soft to her in spite of its constant spikes. He kept licking, making her moan louder and grip his hair harder. This seemed to just excite him more, as the harder she grabbed, the faster he moved. Using this to her advantage, she was almost ripping his hair out by its roots as he moved within her, which had him moving at speeds she wouldn't have believed possible had it not been happening to her. Hinata felt a pressure begin to build within her; as Naruto's tongue continued its motions within her, the pressure grew and grew. Then he hit a new spot and the pressure exploded out of her. What she didn't realize until moments later was that she had actually orgasmed, and her juices had spewed out onto Naruto's face. She looked down when he didn't do anything for a moment and was surprised to find him licking her juices off his face with a huge grin on his face.

Naruto was surprised when a surge of liquid literally gushed out of Hinata's body, but he was even more surprised to find the liquid, while sticky, was actually very sweet to the taste. When Hinata looked down at him, he just grinned to show her he was fine. The look on her face became extremely lustful again. Naruto's grin changed, becoming slightly more feral; so she wanted more, did she? Well, he certainly had plenty more to give! He pushed her lower body back below the water, kissing her deeply again. This time, for some reason, he licked her lips; Hinata opened for him, allowing his tongue into her mouth. She moaned deeply into the kiss as the taste of her juices in his mouth transferred to her. It was extremely erotic, tasting herself like that. Meanwhile, Naruto reached down and began to rub her vagina now. He slid his fingers into her, moving them in her much the same way he had his tongue before, experimenting, seeing what worked and what didn't. It was a little harder this time, since he was constantly kissing her, but he figured it out.

Hinata was surprised when he began to slide his fingers inside her, but this time she was more than willing to just let the sensation carry her away. Her body was so hyper-sensitive from his eating her (where that term came from she didn't know, but it seemed to fit, so she used it) that every time he touched her, her body sent waves of pleasure all over her. She was so overwhelmed from it all she orgasmed again after only a minute or so, spewing her juices again, this time into the water. Naruto seemed to know she had reached her climax, as he slid his fingers out of her and allowed her to rest for a few moments.

", Naruto," she panted. "That was...amazing." Naruto just grinned. He knew what he was going to do now; he didn't know why, but clearly having things...inside her, made Hinata have these sensations, and his body was aroused as well, which was causing him to be...well, erect, so, in his mind, it was only logical for him to put what his body was demanding be touched into her. It would serve both purposes, and this WAS only a dream after all, so why not? He pulled her to him again, a bit more wildly this time, and bit the hollow of her shoulder. Hinata gasped as this sent a wave of pleasure through her. She instinctively wrapped her legs around Naruto's waist, which brought her very wet opening down onto his erection. Naruto smiled at her and reached down to direct himself into her.

Hinata was still somewhat in shock from her first orgasm, never mind her second, but what happened next was a whole new level of feeling for her. His erection was sliding into her. It didn't hurt at first, since she was so wet, but then she felt it touch something in her that nothing before this had ever touched. He looked at her questioningly; she nodded her permission and Naruto thrust hard into her. She felt something in her tear, and she almost cried, but she clung to Naruto instead, biting his shoulder hard to keep from crying out. After a moment, she began to move her body, bringing him deeper into her and riding him slowly, then faster. She realized just then that she would feel that pain for real some day, but she didn't care just now as the pleasure of what they were doing overrode her pain from that initial thrust.

Naruto's eyes were rolling back in his head by now from the immense pleasure he was receiving from having Hinata's body contain him like this. He was barely able to stay standing so they didn't both end up falling underwater. Even if it was a dream, he didn't want to have that happen, at least not on accident. He knew it could be interesting if done on purpose, but he didn't want to have it happen on accident and one of them get hurt or drown, so he forced himself to remain standing. Hinata was grinding his body intensely, and he began to feel a distinct pressure building up inside him.

Hinata, by now, was feeling the pressure for a third time herself. She felt that the more she moved and the faster and deeper he was inside her, the better it felt and the closer she got to release, so she moved faster and faster. His erection was huge inside her, but it felt so right to her, like it always belonged there. She felt him touching the part inside her his tongue had touched before her first release, and she knew she would do so again very soon. Sure enough, a couple thrusts later, she did release.

Naruto felt her release, but then he got a shock. He'd thought her release would make her...well, looser around him. Instead, her vagina SQUEEZED him, not painfully, but like her body was demanding his release. This ignited a whole new level of pleasure in the blond, and, his eyes rolling back in his head, he gave her body what it wanted: he released into her, not once, but twice. Hinata seemed to love this feeling, so he just smiled at her. He had no idea he had caused her to release a fourth time instantly by doing that. The two, still smiling at one another, made their shaky way to the edge of the water and laid on the ground, Hinata on top of Naruto. The two laid there, comfortable in one another's arms, and slowly closed their eyes.

Naruto opened his eyes and slowly sat up. He was in his apartment, laying in bed, just as he'd known he would be. What in the world was that dream about? And why was his body reacting now the same way it had to Hinata's touch in the dream? Well, at least now it was receding, but even so, what in the world caused that? And why now was the image of Hinata's body, her perfect form, her smooth skin, her beautiful...wait, what? He always liked Sakura, why was he thinking of Hinata like that all of a sudden? He took a deep breath to try to clear his mind, then rose and began to go about his morning routine, glad that he didn't have anything to do today so he could try to find Iruka to ask about that weird dream.

Meanwhile, Hinata woke up at the same time Naruto did. She was heavily disappointed to find herself in her hospital bed. She'd known it was just a dream, but some part of her had hoped it was real. What Naruto had said...about them meeting...could it be? Was he somehow really in her dream? That made absolutely no sense, but the way he'd said that, with no thought of tact, with his only thought being that he didn't know an answer to something and he wanted it, was so like him...was so Naruto, that she just felt it was real somehow. She sighed at herself, already telling herself it wasn't real, that she was just a foolish girl for even believing Naruto would ever desire her like that. After all, he had Sakura, who was so much prettier than her, who didn't have these huge breasts (here she looked at hers with disdain), and who had those expressive green eyes, unlike her cold white ones. Why would Naruto want her, when all he really wanted was Sakura?

Naruto finished his morning routine. All throughout it, he'd been having a vague feeling of self-doubt. He had no idea where that had come from, but it was so out of the ordinary for him he had to question it. He had almost never doubted himself, and the few times he had it was for something specific, yet here it was just a general sense of not being good enough. Not good enough for what? He couldn't answer that, no matter how hard he tried. His work with the Summoning Jutsu had been slow as of late, but not so slow that he should be doubting his ability to pull it off eventually. He'd never once doubted he'd be Hokage some day, and he didn't doubt it now, so it wasn't that either. So why the hell was he feeling like that? He couldn't think of a single goal he had, long-term or short-term that he didn't feel certain he could accomplish...ugh, bloody confusion!

Hinata was still berating herself, telling herself she wasn't good enough for Naruto, when a feeling of overwhelming confusion struck her. She knew what she was thinking, how she wasn't good enough, so why was she suddenly confused? She shook her head, trying to clear it. Her feelings of inadequacy forgotten, she noticed the feeling of confusion passed after a moment. That was weird. It was almost like her dream was happening she could sense Naruto's feelings or something. That made sense in a dream, but in real, waking life? Yeah, right! She ridiculed herself for a few moments, thinking it made no logical sense for that to happen. But at the same time, she couldn't just ignore these feelings she was having that she couldn't explain. Sighing, the shy girl laid back in her bed, trying to get comfortable so as not to aggravate her injuries. It was then that she noticed the inside of her thighs was soaked. She blushed deeply; she'd had this happen a time or two from her dreams, and considering her most recent one, she should have expected it. She was always embarrassed about those dreams; thankfully no one had ever seemed to notice that she was having them or how messy she got after some of them. Blushing deeply, she got up and made her way to the bathroom to clean herself up.

Naruto was on his way to find Iruka when he had a sense of overwhelming embarrassment. He wasn't as surprised this time as he had been with the feeling of not being good enough, so he just shrugged it off and kept going. He headed straight for the Academy first, figuring if Iruka wasn't teaching, he'd be there grading papers. His instincts turned out to be right on the money. Iruka was sitting there behind his desk, slaving over papers.

"Iruka-sensei?" he said, hesitantly. The scarred Chunin looked up and smiled at his favorite blond knucklehead.

"Ah, Naruto, come on in," he said. Naruto did so. Iruka gestured for him to sit down. Naruto did, his eyes betraying that he was nervous and embarrassed. "What's up, Naruto?"

"Um, Iruka-sensei, I wanted to talk to you about something. I had a really weird dream last night," Naruto started, his eyes everywhere but on Iruka.

Iruka chuckled. "Let me guess, it was about Sakura, right, Naruto?"

Naruto shook his head vehemently, thinking if Sakura ever thought he'd had a dream like THAT about HER, she'd probably beat him within an inch of his life! "No, Iruka-sensei, not at all, Sakura wasn't even in it. It was about Hinata!" Naruto said, his voice betraying his confusion.

NOW Iruka was interested. "Hinata huh? Do tell, Naruto," he said. He had no idea what he was getting himself into...

Hinata, meanwhile, had gotten herself cleaned up without anyone coming into her room. It still caused her a little pain to move, but she wasn't in any serious danger, so she'd been given freedom to do mostly what she wanted. Today, she hadn't done much yet, seeing as she'd been having that dream and then, upon waking, dealing with the result, but she was short of breath and her heart hurt a little. She laid down to rest and think a while; after all, she didn't have much else to do. While laying there, Hinata couldn't help but think of her dream again, which made her suffer from wave after wave of embarrassment. Her face was constantly red with it, which caused her some slight pains to her heart as it beat harder to pump blood to her face. Hinata was only relieved that no one came in to find her like that; she didn't need THAT embarrassment.

Naruto had just finished telling Iruka about the dream, and now, as throughout the telling of the dream, he was blushing furiously; he didn't think he'd ever been so embarrassed in his whole life!

Iruka was honestly shocked at the degree of detail in Naruto's dream. "Well, Naruto," he said, not sure what to tell his student. "What do you suppose could have prompted you to dream like that of Hinata?"

Naruto pondered that. What could prompt him to dream like that of Hinata indeed? He could only think of one thing, so that's what he told Iruka. "Well, I've known for a long time that Hinata's been following me, stalking me, so to speak, then when I saw her at the preliminaries three weeks ago, fighting Neji, and how determined she was...I don't know, I guess it just made me realize there was more to her than the shy, quiet weirdo I always thought she was," he said, giving Iruka a small smile.

Iruka, meanwhile, was stunned. Naruto knew Hinata had been following him? Why hadn't he ever done anything about it then? Could it be he...liked her too? "Naruto, if you knew Hinata was following you, why didn't you ever say or do anything about it? I mean, you do know why she does that, don't you?" Iruka asked.

Naruto gave Iruka a confused look. "Well no, I just thought she was lonely or something, but it never bothered me, I liked having her around, and I didn't want to scare her off or anything, so I just let it be," Naruto said after a moment.

Iruka gasped. So Naruto had known Hinata was following him all along, didn't mind it, didn't want to scare her off, and so did nothing? And now he was having a dream about having sex with her? What the hell? Then Iruka had a thought. "Um, Naruto, the dream you do know what that means, don't you?"

Naruto blushed deeply. "Well, no, I told you what we did in the dream,, what did we do? I mean, what was that?" he asked. He'd been dreading this moment ever since coming to Iruka, but at the same time, this was why he had come to begin with, he wanted to know what the hell they had done.

Okay, now it was official. Iruka was beyond stunned. He was completely and utterly dumbfounded. Naruto was having dreams about Hinata that clearly meant the boy liked the girl and he didn't even know what the dream WAS, never mind what it MEANT! "Um, Naruto, you said in the dream you asked Hinata if you could come see her in the hospital, right?" he said. Iruka knew he was using this as an escape of sorts, but he needed some time to figure out what he was going to tell Naruto, and this was likely the best way to get it.

Naruto nodded. "Yeah, I did, but what should I say to her? I don't even know if she'd really want me to come see her!" he said, shivering slightly at the thought of being unwanted. "I mean, it's not like I've ever really talked to her. What should I do, Iruka-sensei?" Naruto didn't want to admit it, even to himself, but he was very very nervous, thinking about going to see the girl after that dream.

Iruka leaned forward and rested a hand on Naruto's shoulder. "Go see her, Naruto. Don't say anything about the dream unless she does first, all right?" Naruto nodded at this. "I can tell you without a doubt Hinata would be flattered if you went to see her, dream or no dream," Iruka finished, smiling.

Naruto chuckled, some of his confidence returning. "Hey, that's right, who wouldn't want to see an awesome ninja like me? I'll be back later to finish that talk, all right, Iruka-sensei?" he said, then turned and took off to go see his shy friend. Iruka sighed; he was not looking forward to seeing Naruto again, for once.

Hinata worried about Naruto for a long time. She was afraid he wouldn't come, but part of her was afraid he would come, too. She couldn't decide which was worse. He could come and tell her he didn't feel the way she'd told him she felt in the dream. He could come and she wouldn't know what to say to him. Or he just might not come at all, which would mean that dream last night was just another of her normal dreams about him, and he hadn't dreamed it at all. She sighed, her eyes falling to her lap, where her hands rested. Her hands, so small, so fragile, so like the rest of her. Weak, useless, the hands of a failure rested there. Oh, how she wished her hands were strong, like Naruto's. Maybe then her heart wouldn't be so weak, maybe then she'd be more confident. Did it all come back to his hands? No, she told herself, it couldn't be just his hands. He had the confidence in himself. She didn't move when the door to her room opened. She was too lost in her thoughts. Then she heard something she never imagined she would hear.

"Hey, H-Hinata," stammered a voice she'd know anywhere. Naruto! She looked up, a look of shock on her face. He was here, in her room, and...he was stammering like he was nervous about something? Naruto was never nervous. Why would he be now? She looked into his eyes and saw...he was nervous! She couldn't believe it. Naruto, the strongest, most confident person she'd ever met, was nervous!

"Oh, Naruto!" she said, surprise clear in her voice. Naruto looked at her and smiled, a little of his nervousness passing at her voice. He remembered how smooth her skin was! He forced those thoughts from his head, but not before a slight blush touched his cheeks as he remembered the dream. Hinata saw him blushing. Was he...embarrassed? She was feeling a little embarrassed herself, but this felt...different from her normal embarrassment when he was around. It felt like...his? "Naruto, a-are y-you all r-right?" she asked. "You seem embarrassed about something."

Naruto looked at her and forced his embarrassment down. "I'm all right, Hinata," he said, still blushing. "Just remembering a dream I had last night, that's all."

Hinata gasped. Naturally, his words made the memories of her own dream flood her mind again. She blushed a deep red. Naruto was surprised when he...felt her embarrassment somehow. "'re embarrassed now...aren't you?" he said, hesitantly. She looked up at him, her face clearly displaying surprise. "I...felt it, somehow," he said. "You felt mine a minute ago, too, didn't you?" She nodded. "What in the world is going on here?" he said, as much to himself as to Hinata.

Hinata thought about it a few moments, then somehow got the nerve to ask, "Naruto, your dream last night, what was it about?"

Naruto blushed deeply, but he could tell (feel?) that it had taken Hinata a lot of nerve to ask him that, so he felt like it would be cruel and wrong of him to not tell her. He started to tell her the dream.

Hinata began to blush slightly when he told her about how he had been swimming in the water, letting her see his body. She figured it was just a coincidence though. Then he talked about calling to her, her coming out, them skinny-dipping together, on and on. The more she heard, the more embarrassed she got and the less she thought it was a coincidence. Then came something she never thought she would hear. "Then you said that you wished it was real. You said, 'If only this was real, I could tell you how much I truly love you, how much I've wanted this with you and only you, and how I'll never want anyone but you.' Hinata, did you really mean all that?" he asked her, his eyes filled with worry, as if he was afraid she would reject him.

Hinata blushed deeply, knowing that this was the moment to finally confess to him, to tell him just how much he meant to her. She was embarrassed beyond belief, but she couldn't blame Naruto really. Naruto, for his part, was struggling with a bout of intense embarrassment that came from nowhere for him. He was worried Hinata would say no, but why would he be embarrassed? Yet he was. He didn't know, of course, that he had just put Hinata on the spot in a terrible way. The shy girl stammered, "Y-Y-Yes, Naruto, I did mean all of that." She looked up at him and saw a look of shock on his face. "I've always liked you, Naruto, and I've always dreamed of being with you."

Naruto reached over and took Hinata's hand gently in his. "I can't say that I feel the same way for you, Hinata," he said, honestly. "But if you'll give me time, to get to know you and to spend time with you, I'll see if maybe I can love you." That did it. Hinata fainted. Naruto almost panicked, but he had felt, just as she passed out, a feeling of intense happiness and embarrassment, so he knew, somehow, that Hinata was just overwhelmed, and, in the long run, she'd be fine. He sat back to wait for her to come to, a slight smile on his face. Naruto had a thought while he sat there. He created a clone and sent it to talk to Iruka-sensei while he waited for Hinata to wake up. Contrary to popular belief, he had figured out months ago that his Shadow Clones, upon dispelling, returned their memories to him; that's why he trained with them all the time.

The clone ran out of the hospital, glad to be out of that stuffy place. He took a deep breath of the fresh air outside, then grinned and ran off to find Iruka-sensei. He figured, correctly as it turned out, that his old teacher would still be where he'd left him earlier. He saw him sitting there still grading, and he couldn't suppress a small chuckle.

Iruka looked up at the small sound. He grinned, a little apprehensively, when he saw his favorite blond standing there. "Oh, hey, Naruto, what's up?" the teacher asked, his nervousness showing clearly in the forced smile on his face.

The clone grinned. "Hey, Iruka-sensei, the boss sent me to have that talk," he said. Iruka looked confused. "I'm a Shadow Clone."

Iruka looked surprised, then grinned. "Let me guess, the real one is still with Hinata, and he didn't want to leave, right?" he asked. The clone nodded. Iruka sighed. "All right, well, first, what have you figured out?"

"Well, that dream was real, somehow or another both the boss and Hinata dreamed the same thing," the clone answered. "But if you mean what we've figured out about what that dream was, nothing. He's been too busy talking to Hinata to really think about that."

Iruka sighed. This was going to be harder than he thought. "Okay, what do you know about how babies are made?" he asked. The clone gave Iruka a look that said he should know the answer to that. In other words, nothing. Great, just great. Iruka sighed again. "Okay, Naruto, it doesn't seem like there's any easy way to say this, so I'm just going to be blunt about it. What you and Hinata did in your dream...well, that's sex. When two people do what you did in the dream, the girl can get pregnant and have a baby," he told the blond.

Naruto looked surprised, then blushed as he thought of something. "And...Hinata would know that, right?" he asked. Iruka nodded; they had been taught that in various classes, of course. Naruto had been left out of those, among others. "So...when she said she wanted that with me...she meant that she wanted babies...with me?"

Iruka thought a moment about how to answer that one. "Most likely, yes, but I'm sure Hinata doesn't want that yet," he said, emphasizing the last word to make sure Naruto got the point.

He did. "So she was saying she wants to be with me, not just now, but forever, and to have babies with me some day?" Naruto asked, his eyes full of hope and wonder at that concept.

Iruka smiled. This was happening much easier than he had thought it would. "Well, in a nutshell, yes," he said. Naruto's grin grew far wider and he began to whoop and holler about it, but Iruka quickly calmed him down. "Naruto, chill." Naruto did as he was told. "Hinata followed you all that time because she liked you, Naruto, just like she told you in your dream, and it became love over time as she watched you. The thing is, she's very shy, as I'm sure you've noticed, so she's never had the courage to talk to you or tell you how she felt before. So please, be careful how you talk to her about things, otherwise...well, she'll probably blush, panic, and faint a lot."

Naruto chuckled. "Yeah, the boss was talking to her before he sent me, and she fainted. He's staying there to wait for her to wake up," he said, reminding the Chunin that he was talking to a Shadow Clone. "Thanks for the advice, though, Iruka-sensei."

Iruka smiled. "Anything else you want to ask me, Naruto?" he asked. Naruto, surprising the teacher, actually fell silent and thought for several moments about his question. He seemed to be thinking more deeply than Iruka had ever seen the blond think.

"No, I don't think so," he said after a moment. "If the boss thinks of anything, I'm sure he'll be back." Iruka nodded to let the blond know he'd be there, and the clone made a hand sign and dispelled itself. Iruka chuckled at how realistic those clones were, then went back to his work.


Naruto received the memories of his clone. He blushed deeply at the parts about babies and that and was half-tempted to faint himself at the thought that Hinata knew that and still wanted that with him. Breathing deeply, he managed to stay awake, if only just. He sat back in his chair again, still waiting for Hinata to wake up. After that discussion with his old teacher, he had quite a lot to discuss with his shy friend once she did regain consciousness, that was for sure. He smiled. He was looking forward to this. He sighed; yes, he was looking forward to this, but at the same time, he hoped she wouldn't freak out too much. He did have a lot to tell her, after all.

Hinata slowly became aware of the rhythmic beeping of her heart monitor. She sighed mentally; it was just another dream. Another crazy, wonderful, hopeless dream, that's all it was. And here she'd thought that Naruto had actually come to visit her. She should know better, why would he ever come to visit a failure like her? She sighed, this time aloud, and that's when she got a surprise.

"Hinata?" a voice asked. That voice! She'd know it anywhere...Naruto! Her eyes snapped open, and sure enough, there he was, sitting in a chair not far from her hospital bed, looking at her. As she looked at him, the memory of their previous conversation came back to her. She remembered him talking about wanting to spend time with her and get to know her, then she'd fainted. She blushed deeply at the memory. "You all right, Hinata?"

"Y-Yes, I'm fine, N-Naruto," she said back. She gave him a small smile to show she was all right. Naruto returned her smile slowly, causing the shy girl to blush deeply and her heart to speed up, as both could hear from her heart rate monitor. Hinata gasped and pressed a hand to her heart as the increase in pulse caused her some pain. Naruto, surprising both, did the same. He felt the pain as well. Hinata looked at him in concern. "Naruto? Are you all right?"

Naruto gasped; that pain was deeper than he expected. "I'll be fine, Hinata, I just wish I knew why this was happening," he said, his voice strained. After a couple of moments, the pain passed for them both. Naruto moved his chair closer to Hinata's bed and looked at her, a small smile on his face. Hinata, somehow comforted by his smile, leaned back against her bed, which was raised, and looked into his eyes. "Hinata," he said, his voice soft, "we need to talk about some things." Hinata, who had been smiling softly before that, didn't like the sound of that for some reason and her face fell. Naruto picked up on her worry and quickly reassured her. "Don't worry, Hinata, it's nothing bad, there's just some things I need to tell you, and, I think, some things you need to tell me."

Hinata blushed deeply. "Oh, okay, Naruto," she said. "What is it you had in mind?" She was almost afraid to ask that, but mostly she was just glad that Naruto was really here, that he was really talking to her, and that he was actually taking the time to not only tell her things about himself but that he wanted to listen to her talk about herself as well, even if the latter prospect did make her nervous.

Naruto was almost shaking he was so nervous. He wondered to himself why he was so worried about this. Getting frustrated with himself for being so nervous, he decided to just say it. "Well, first off, I wanted to know why you always followed me; I think I know, but I want to know for sure," he blurted, then looked away from Hinata, blushing deeply.

Hinata blushed in return. "W-Well, Naruto, you said you h-had that d-dream I had last night, right?" He nodded, wondering what she was getting at with this. "I told you in th-the dream why I f-follow you," she said, her face resembling flaming hot steel in color. Naruto looked at her, part confused, part hoping she would say what he thought she would. When she realized Naruto wasn't sure what she meant, Hinata looked up at him and, blushing deeply, whispered, "I love you, Naruto."

Naruto smiled, then leaned forward and took Hinata's hand in his gently. "That's not what I meant, Hinata," he said softly. "As you said, you told me that in the dream. What I mean is why didn't you ever come to me, talk to me?"

Hinata's blush had receded slightly, but it returned full-force at his touch. "I was just so worried, Naruto," she answered, almost whispering so she wouldn't stutter. "I was afraid you would reject me or that I would be a burden to you. I don't ever want to hold you back from anything, and I just couldn't get up the nerve to talk to you, that's all." Naruto could feel the sincerity in her words along with the deep desire to help him. The two were getting used to feeling what the other felt like this, even if it was a little weird. Just goes to show that people can get used to anything.

"You want to help me, Hinata?" he asked her. Hinata blushed at being caught in her thoughts, but nodded. "You're the first to ever want that, and I know you believe in me, and that's something else that you're the first to do. Just from that, Hinata, you are precious to me, and you will never hold me back."

"But, Naruto, your dream is to be Hokage," she said softly. "What if being with me somehow meant that you couldn't attain your dream?" This was, in fact, one of her deepest fears, as Naruto realized as she said it. She was afraid both that if that happened he would leave her and that he wouldn't and would give up his dream because of her.

"Hinata," Naruto said softly. "The truth is, I have two dreams, being Hokage is only one. My other dream is to get married, have a family, and show my family the happiness I never had as a child." His hand, still in Hinata's, shook as he realized he was telling her one of his most closely-guarded secrets.

Hinata blushed, realizing what he was telling her. "And...that dream..." she gulped deeply. "I could you...attain it." Naruto looked up at the shy girl and nodded, a small smile on his face. Hinata smiled back. "Then...if things work with us...I will help you attain it," Hinata said, her voice barely a whisper.

Naruto smiled. He reached over and cupped her cheeks in his hands. No more words were necessary for them. They leaned toward one another slowly, Hinata's heart beating faster, harder, in both nervousness and excitement. Her heart hurt, but she'd never been happier. They came closer to one another, their eyes slowly closing, much as they had in the dream. Naruto smiled briefly, then moved the last few inches and kissed Hinata's lips gently, sweetly. Hinata responded, her mouth moving to fit his perfectly. The two kissed for several moments, then pulled apart, both blushing and smiling.

Naruto was the first to speak, his voice quiet, reverent. "That was...better than the dream," he said. Hinata blushed deeper still but kept smiling.

"Oh, Naruto, what else did you want to talk about?" she asked him then.

Naruto blinked, having totally forgotten about that. "Oh," he said, hesitating. "Well, Hinata..." he trailed off, blushing. She squeezed his hand, which reassured him somehow. "What we did in the you know...what it was?" Hinata blushed deeper than ever and nodded. She did know, after all. "And you know...what could happen...if we really did that?" Hinata's blush, which Naruto thought couldn't get any deeper, deepened. She nodded again. "So...when you said that you wanted that with meant you wanted to always be with me...and to...have babies...with me...some day?"

Hinata panicked a moment. "Don't faint, don't faint, DO NOT FAINT!" she repeated to herself. "Y-Y-Yes, Naruto, I do," she said, after a moment. "I've w-wanted that f-f-for a l-long t-time."

Naruto looked at her with a blush and a smile, but, before he could say any more, some nurses came into the room and told him he had to go as visiting hours were over. He nodded and they left to give him time to say goodbye. Hinata's blush had receded in the meantime."I'll be back to see you tomorrow, okay, Hinata?" he asked her. She blushed again and nodded. "I have training in the morning with Pervy Sage, but I'll come see you after that." Hinata nodded again. Naruto then surprised them both by leaning in and kissing Hinata on the cheek, much to her embarrassment and delight, before leaving.

Naruto left and went home and straight to bed; he had a big day the next day after all. As Naruto closed his eyes, his thoughts drifted to Hinata, who, at that same moment was also closing her eyes and thinking of Naruto. The two, their thoughts on one another, drifted into sleep at the same time, never imagining that they would once again meet in their dreams.