Chapter 3

Naruto, while somewhat baffled as to why this guy would show up and attack him out of the blue like this, wasn't going to just stand there and take it either. Kiba attacked hard and fast, Naruto blocking and dodging wildly, trying to make sure Kiba didn't score a direct hit. Kiba was only able to get through Naruto's guard once, which sent Naruto reeling into the crowd, but said crowd caught him and pushed him back onto his feet and back toward the feral-looking Kiba.

Naruto attacked this time, kicking, punching, flailing at Kiba with a vengeance. He wasn't sure what was going on, really, but he was sure of one thing: Kiba had pissed him off. And when Naruto got pissed off, people tended to get hurt. After a few more exchanges, Naruto managed to trap Kiba's hands and hold him in place. He looked up at Hinata. "You actually dated this guy?" Spotlights turned on and focused on Hinata. "I guess that's what they mean by putting someone on the spot," Naruto thought to himself.

Hinata blushed at having all the focus on her. "Yeah. Back in the Academy. I was always considered the failure of my clan, so no one really paid any attention to me...except Kiba. He pursued me like I was the only girl alive. I finally said yes to a date, and we went a few times, but I finally realized he'd pursue any girl who would give him the time of day, so we split," she said.

"YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS, HYUGA!" Kiba roared. Naruto tapped him on the shoulder. Kiba turned just in time for Naruto to begin his attack.

"EIGHT TRIGRAMS, SIXTY FOUR PALMS!" Naruto yelled. He came at Kiba with his hands open, fingers together like a knife. He began hitting Kiba in several points around the body. Each time he hit, Kiba felt like his insides were being torn to shreds. By the time the sixty-fourth hit landed, Kiba was barely conscious. He summoned the last of his strength and started to whistle. Naruto watched in shock as Kiba rose into the air.

Kiba's whistling took on an upbeat tune first; Naruto could only stare as a young girl, maybe thirteen, appeared before Kiba. She had green hair, was dressed from neck to toe in green, and her blue eyes sparkled with mischief. Next, his tune became the exact inverse of the first and was slower and somehow more somber. This time, a girl with red hair, blue eyes, and a farm-worker's outfit appeared. His tune changed again. At this third tune, a slower, more somber tune, with only five notes, a girl with blue skin, her head shaped like that of a hammerhead shark appeared. His tune changed once more; the tune was extremely sad, almost creepy this time. At this tune, an older woman appeared. Her hair was the same color as Kakashi's, her outfit looked like light battle armor, and her red eyes glinted with rage. Kiba's tune changed once more; this time it sounded like a lullaby. A final girl appeared. She looked to be the same age as the redhead, but she was blond, dressed in what looked like the dress of a princess, and her blue eyes looked kind, but hard.

Hinata, recognizing the group, yelled, "THOSE ARE ALL THE GIRLS YOU CHEATED ON ME WITH!" Naruto looked up at her and could see the pain of betrayal in her eyes. Enraged, he turned toward Kiba, who threw a fireball at him. Naruto, surprised, barely dodged in time.

Jumping back, Naruto said, "So you want to call in reinforcements, huh? Well, two can play that game." He formed a hand seal and seven more Narutos appeared. Two stood with Naruto and began forming a greenish ball of chakra in his hand while the other five clones kept Kiba and his girls distracted. The Rasenshuriken completed, Naruto threw it. It hit Kiba straight in the head, which sent him spinning in the air.

"How could this have happened?" Kiba thought to himself. Naruto grinned and leapt for Kiba, sending one final blow at him. The blow connected.

"KO!" Honorable Kono yelled, gaining himself quite a few looks again. "What?" he asked again.

Naruto landed on the ground seconds before the money Kiba burst into landed. Naruto picked it up. "Ugh, this isn't even enough for a bowl of ramen!" he groaned. Hinata appeared beside him, grabbed his hand, and the two left.

As they were leaving, they heard the Battle of the Bands announcer say "The Yellow Flashers win by default since the Flaming Crackers have lost two of their members." Hinata stopped.

She looked up at Ayame. "Hey, Ayame, say bye to your gay friends for me."

Ayame looked confused. "Gay friends?" She turned to where Kankuro was sitting, only to see Kankuro and Kabuto making out. "KANKURO? Again?"

Naruto chuckled as he and Hinata left. He saw the bus pulling up outside and smiled at Hinata. "Good timing, eh?" Hinata giggled, and the two got on the bus. Naruto handed the driver some of the money that used to be Kiba.

Hinata led Naruto to a seat at the back of the bus. She was not looking forward to this conversation, but Naruto deserved to know. Naruto and Hinata took their seats. A few moments of awkward silence passed before Naruto cleared his throat.

"So, uh, evil ex-boyfriends?" Naruto laughed nervously.

Hinata blushed furiously. "Exes, actually. I...I've had some bad relationships. None of my exes took the break-ups well," she explained.

"Why did you break up with them?" Naruto asked before quickly adding. "If you don't mind me asking." He didn't mean to pry, but desperately wanted to avoid the mistakes that pushed Hinata away from the others.

"There were a couple of reasons. Kiba, as you heard, cheated on me. The others were emotionally distant or just cruel," Hinata said quickly. Naruto could tell she did not want to recall the painful memories. He didn't want Hinata to recall the painful memories.

"I'm sorry I made you bring up bad memories," Naruto apologized. "And I'm sorry they are coming back, but I promise you won't face them alone this time."

Once again, Hinata was struck by how unintentionally charming Naruto was. "Thank you, Naruto. I have to warn you about them."

"About your ex-boyfriends?" Naruto's face scrunched up in confusion.

"Exes," Hinata corrected, blushing again. "If we're going to keep dating, you are going to have to defeat them."

"Oh..." Naruto started to mull over Hinata's statement when realization hit him like a train. "Wait! Are we dating now?"

Hinata's blush deepened. The last thing she had wanted was another relationship. However, there was something about Naruto that made her feel safe.

"I guess we are." Hinata couldn't help but return Naruto's megawatt smile. She dug around in her purse and pulled out a small book. Naruto accepted the book and Hinata watched Naruto arc his eyebrow.

"Hinata, this..." Naruto looked at the cover. It was decorated with pressed flowers. "This is the cutest thing I have ever seen. I think there's a law of physics I missed when I zoned out in the Academy. 'Hinata Hyuga must always be adorable'."

"Thank you. I'm sorry the inside won't be as cute as the outside. It's a Bingo Book of all my exes," Hinata said apologetically, blushing at his comment.

"We'll be fine," Naruto reassured Hinata. The pair sat in a comfortable silence for a minute. Naruto's face was suddenly split with a cheeky grin. "So, since we're dating, want to grab some food? I know a place that's always open."

Hinata blushed for the fifth time in as many minutes. "Actually, that sounds good, I'm starved," she said. "Why am I blushing so much?" she asked herself. "I literally haven't blushed this much, had this much fun, or felt so good since before I met Kiba, and that was ten years ago!" She looked at Naruto out of the corner of her eye; he was now looking at her like he wanted to devour her.

Naruto noticed she was looking at him. "Oh, sorry," he said, looking away from her. "It's just hard to take my eyes off you, you're just too beautiful for words."

Hinata blushed again. "Naruto, are you trying to make me blush?" she asked, smiling. Naruto grinned and nodded. Hinata slapped his arm playfully, which only made Naruto grin wider. "Why would you want to make me blush?" Hinata asked.

Naruto smiled. "Oh, I don't know, maybe because it's the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life," he said. Hinata blushed again, then sighed and rested her head on Naruto's shoulder. Naruto put an arm around her shoulders, and the two relaxed, simply enjoying being close to one another.

Naruto and Hinata had been sitting together for about five minutes when Naruto heard the stop they needed called. He pulled the cord on the bus to request the stop, and the two got off a few moments later.

Hinata looked around. They were in a district of Konoha she hadn't seen before. "Where are we, Naruto?" she asked.

Naruto grinned and pointed at a small building across the street. "That's Ichiraku's. It's a ramen stand that's open all night, and they serve the best ramen anywhere. Plus, I know the chef personally," he said, a foxy grin plastered on his face.

Hinata could tell Naruto was trying to hide his worry, but she didn't call him on it. She just smiled and linked her arm with his. "Well, I'm starving," she said with a grin. "So let's eat."

As the two were crossing the street, Naruto's eyes were attracted to the headband Hinata wore around her neck. The etching on it resembled waves. "Waves?" Naruto thought. "That's a Mist Village headband. I thought she was from the Stone Village!"

Deciding to ask about it, Naruto spoke up, "Um, Hinata?" Hinata looked at Naruto as the two sat down in Ichiraku's. She raised one eyebrow in question. "Your headband is from Mist, isn't it?"

Hinata grabbed it and looked at it. "Yeah, I guess it is. Why?"

Naruto took a deep breath. "I thought you were from the Stone Village. So, why are you wearing a Mist headband?"

Hinata giggled slightly. "I change my headband every couple weeks, it's not that big of a deal." Naruto looked at her like she was totally insane for saying that, so Hinata decided to explain. "All right, look. Yes, I did come from the Stone Village most recently, but before that I traveled all over the place. I lived in all four of the other major villages and several of the minor ones before coming here, so now I've been in about ten of the ninja villages."

Hinata stopped for a moment, her eyes gaining a distant look. Naruto was too busy thinking how much more exotic Hinata now seemed to notice. After a few moments, however, he did notice she had stopped talking. "So...I guess you still have your old headbands?" he said.

Hinata jumped a little and blushed as she realized Naruto had caught her zoning out. "Yeah, I kept them," she said after a moment. "So whenever I want a change, I switch which one I'm wearing. Sometimes I forget which one it is, though, that's all."

Naruto was about to say something, when out of nowhere a tall, strong-looking man with long white hair burst into the restaurant. "NARUTO UZUMAKI, I CHALLENGE YOU!" he yelled.

Hinata groaned in annoyance. "Not you again!" she said. "EIGHT TRIGRAMS, AIR PALM!" Her attack struck the man square in the chest, which sent him flying out of the restaurant and down the street.

Naruto, watching in fascination at how powerful Hinata's attack was, sweat-dropped when the man impacted with what appeared to be a normal young boy with a straw hat hanging around his neck. He appeared to be normal, that is, until his hands locked onto two poles and his arms stretched to crazy lengths before snapping back to normal and sending both the old man and the young boy flying the other direction; the force was so great, both flew over the village wall and out of sight.

Naruto turned back to Hinata and was about to say something when she spoke up first. "Sorry about that."

Naruto chuckled. "Don't worry. I know that guy. Stupid Pervy Sage."

Hinata looked surprised. "You know Jiraiya?" she asked, her voice making it obvious how shocked she was by this.

"Of course I know him. How do you think I know the Rasenshuriken? He taught me the Rasengan, and I improved it," he said nonchalantly. "He may be a stupid old pervert, but he is one hell of a ninja...if you can ever get him to be serious, that is. How do you know him?"

Hinata blushed. "He's my stalker," she said. Naruto looked at her in surprise. "Yeah, I know. One of the Legendary Sanin of the Leaf stalking me, I know that sounds ridiculous. But honestly, ever since he saw me in Mist once a few years ago, he's been trying to get me to go out with him. I keep telling him no, but he keeps coming back for more...as you just saw."

Naruto chuckled. "He's just a masochist, that's all." The two pondered that for a moment, then both burst out laughing. It seemed ridiculous that a ninja would be a masochist, but Jiraiya seemed to fit the bill.

As neither Naruto nor Hinata had spoken up before that, it was their laughing fit that drew the restaurant's owner and chef from the back. "Oh, Naruto!" he said, a smile on his face. "Haven't seen you in a while, what can I get for you?" Then he saw Hinata. "And who's your friend?"

Naruto grinned. "This is Hinata; she's my girlfriend," Naruto said, his voice proud. Hinata blushed, but, when the chef looked at her, she nodded.

"Well, good for you, Naruto," Teuchi, the chef, said. "So, what can I get for you two tonight?"

Naruto ordered his usual twenty bowls of ramen; Hinata surprised both Naruto and Teuchi by asking for the same. Both looked at her with their jaws hanging. "What?" Hinata asked. "I'm not like Ino; I like to freaking EAT!"

Naruto gave a grin. "All right, then," he said. "Let's see who can eat more, what do you say?"

Hinata, never one to turn down a challenge, grinned. "You're on, buster!"

Naruto's grin became determined. "Awesome. Okay, Teuchi, one at a time to each of us and just keep them coming. And don't worry, I've got plenty of cash. Won a couple of fights tonight."

Teuchi grinned. "All right then, Naruto. Let's see how this goes," he said, chuckling.

An Hour Later

Naruto had shattered his all-time record of thirty bowls of ramen by eating thirty-five. To both his and Teuchi's utter shock, Hinata had been consistently at least two bowls ahead of him and was now finishing her fortieth.

Hinata sighed. "That was good. Thank you," she said. Turning and finding Naruto staring at her, Hinata adopted a confused look. "What?"

Naruto gulped. "That was...the single hottest thing...I have ever seen!"

Hinata chuckled. "Better be careful, Naruto, you're starting to sound like a fanboy."

Naruto grinned, then pulled Hinata to him and looked her square in the eyes. His voice became deeper. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," he said. Hinata giggled. Naruto released her and shook his head. "Sorry, I have no idea where that came from."

"It's all right, Naruto. That was actually kinda exciting," Hinata said, her face flushed a little. "So he's not just unintentionally charming, he's unintentionally romantic, too," she thought to herself. "Not bad."

Naruto grinned. "Come on, let's get you home," he said. Hinata nodded and the two made their way back to the bus stop where they had so recently disembarked to wait for the next bus, which arrived within moments.

Konoha's newest couple sat on the bus together, Naruto's arm around Hinata's shoulders. Hearing her stop called, Hinata pulled the cord. "This is me," she said, her voice a little sad. She didn't want to be apart from Naruto any more than his arm around her said he wanted to be apart from her.

"Hey, can I come in with you?" Naruto suddenly asked. Hinata looked at him, surprised. "Sorry, too soon?"

Hinata smiled. "Actually, I was just thinking about inviting you in, so sure, you can come in for a while," she said.

Naruto pumped his free hand into the air in the form of a fist. Hinata giggled at his enthusiasm.

The bus stopped, and the young couple disembarked for the second time in as many hours. Hinata unlocked her door, and they entered her house. Naruto was slightly surprised at how large it was, but he didn't say anything.

Hinata smiled at Naruto then. "Oh, you do realize that's the last bus tonight, right?" she asked. Naruto nodded. "Guess you're stuck here for tonight, then, huh?"

Naruto chuckled. "Guess so. Oh, hey, I want to show you something," he said.

Hinata looked confused. "How would you know what's here?"

Naruto smiled. "Come outside with me a second, you'll see."

"All right, I've actually got a balcony upstairs. Will that work?" Hinata asked. Naruto nodded, and the two went upstairs. Stepping outside, Naruto looked at the sky. It was a perfectly clear night. "So, what is it you were going to show me?"

Naruto grinned. "Just watch," he said. Both of them looked up at the sky just in time to see a star go flying across the sky. Hinata gasped.

"How...how did you know that was going to happen?" she asked.

Naruto chuckled. "There's a shooting star that passes here every year on the same night at the same time. Tonight, right now, just happened to be that time," he said. "Did you make a wish?"

Hinata smiled and blushed. "Yeah, actually, I did," she said. "I wonder if it will come true." She said the last part mostly to herself.

Naruto smiled at the desire he could see in her eyes. "It will." Hinata looked at him in shock. "Because I wished for the same thing."

Naruto put his arms around Hinata, who leaned into his embrace. The two slowly closed their eyes and kissed. Naruto didn't have much experience with such things, but he decided if this was what every kiss with Hinata was going to be like, he'd gladly give up every kiss he could ever have with anyone else just for one with Hinata.

Solvdrage: I think we can officially declare ourselves insane. And yes, we did reference One Piece, Gone with the Wind and Legend of Dragoon in the same chapter.

hinatasgreatestfan: So, who's next?

Jiraiya: ME ME ME!

HGF (slaps him across the face): You are NOT one of Hinata's ex's you lunatic!

Jiraiya (makes sucking motions with his lips): Come on, just a little taste...*falls to the ground, out cold*

HGF (rolls eyes): Even when he's almost out cold, he's a pervert. What can I say? He's Jiraiya. Wait...what the hell was he...? Never mind, I do not WANT to know what he was trying to do!

Shino: Indeed you do not.

HGF: Oh, it's you, Shino, guess you're up next, huh?

Shino: It would seem such is the case.

HGF: Anyway, come on back next time to see what happens with Shino and Jiraiya...er...yeah, just come on back and see.