Chapter 3: My Dreams and Yours
Lady Toad said that the seal on their arms would not set unless they spent the next twenty-four hours with each other. So, separated by a curtain of blankets, they each changed into soft ceremonial robes.
Hinata changed into a violet dress. It had light sleeves and faint red stitching along the bottom hem.
Naruto wore robes of a dark color, partly covered by his red and black sage cloak.
Of course, Naruto finished first, so the old sage toad led him just outside the door to wait. They faced a large pond. It was so dark Naruto could hardly see a thing. "Are we doing it here?" He asked.
"Not on the bank, moving water," the toad sage pointed. Naruto stood still, squinting in the starlight to where some sort of floating platform could bee seen in the darkness.
A low clearing throat/pay attention noise sounded behind them, and Naruto turned, gasping, which quickly turned to a grin.
Hinata stood, hair shining in the darkness, Ma Toad sat at her feet, looking pleased. Naruto was so shocked he couldn't move, he couldn't even breathe properly.
Hinata stood in front of him, blushing. "It feels so. Nice. . ." she played with the short sleeves of the dress (only one sleeve on each wedding garment was long. the other was short to show the three circle spiral seals.)
"You look amazing." Naruto gasped.
She blushed. "You look good too Naruto. . ."
He took her hand, "What now Sage?" He asked the toad.
Pa Toad pointed. "You have to stand on the lotus leaf there." He smiled comfortingly at Hinata's shocked look. "It's secure."
"How do we get clear out there?" Naruto asked, trying to gauge the distance.
The old toad rolled his eyes, "I taught you better didn't I boy?"
"Uh? Oh. . .Right." He tucked Hinata's slim hand under his arm for a moment, positioning his hands upward into a seal. Soon, a slight tremor was felt in the air, and his eyes slowly changed to orange and gold. Once in sage mode, he picked Hinata up bridal style and jumped across the pond.
"Ah Naruto boy. . ." The lord toad said. "Well. . . This is good news. . . Are you ready?"
Both Naruto and Hinata nodded.
"Good. . .Good. . . I'm not into long speeches really. . . But I do want to impress upon you both the importance of this. . .You are sure, right?"
Both nodded again.
"Good. . . Good. . . Well then." He cleared his throat. "By the witnesses here, and by those here but unseen. I began this ceremony. . . Afflicting you two with each other might not be a kind thing," he rubbed his chin, looking at Hinata "You are sure you want to marry him right?" Naruto peeked behind Hinata's back as she nodded her head, looking at his mentor and wondering if this was really part of the whole marriage thing, he wasn't so sure about this asking over and over again. What if Hinata changed her mind! The old toad just nodded and Naruto looked back at the lord of toads, trying to hide his impatience.
She looked up, tightening her grip on Naruto's hand and facing the leader of the toad village. "Y.. . Yes?"
"You understand that your duty is to watch over Naruto now correct? And not from the sidelines. You are to help and assist. You can not be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts with him. You are a very kind girl and your eyes see a lot more then Naruto here tends to. You tell him what you see."
She mulled the words over in her mind. Even though she was a little unsure exactly what they meant, it felt right. She nodded once "Hai! I will."
The toad nodded to her, then turned his gaze to Naruto. "Naruto. You are not alone anymore." His voice softened slightly, and became very clear and precise, "Your dreams and goals should be shared with your wife now."
Naruto lowered his eyes slightly But. . .what if my dreams are dangerous? He wondered. Images of a certain dark-haired teammate appeared in the back of his mind. He still hadn't. . .
He looked up.
The chief toad raised a hand, pointing his finger at Naruto's chest. "Your first duty now. . . Is to Hinata."
Naruto slowly nodded. "I understand."
The young man nodded at the prompt, turning to Hinata and gently, but passionately kissed her. All thoughts of. . . Well, everything, vanished from both their minds as Hinata wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Remember tonight and how happy you are, because not everyday will be like this." The lord of toads said, "It isn't all fireworks, it very rarely is. As a matter of fact, most of the time you just try to get by and you sometimes. . . you're not even paying attention to me anymore are you?"
Hinata grinned, breaking their kiss. Naruto smiled at her, glancing shyly back at the large toad, "I'm listening to you Toad-Sama"
"Listening to me? Why are you listening to me? She's your wife you're supposed to be paying attention to HER!"
They didn't need to be told twice.
Naruto landed on the bank lightly, setting Hinata on her feet beside him. He took both her hands in his and pulled her into a tight hug, laughing for no other reason than happiness. She squealed in delight.
"Naruto-chan! Don't crush her, you're still in Sage mode!"
At the sage toad's words. Naruto set Hinata down quickly, still holding her hands "Did. . . Did I hurt you, my Hinata?" He asked breathlessly, moving a strand of her hair from where it had fallen onto her lips
"No." She breathed, leaning forward and kissing him.
Naruto hugged her tightly, feeling a wave of happiness wash over him, but it was more than just being happy, It was. . .
Deep down in his soul, he had always been mildly unhappy, despite the grins, the pranks, and the brave declaration of his dreams.
Now, it was just the opposite. . .
"Come on Hinata-chan!"
. . . Deep down, even though he knew life was still dangerous, even though he knew things weren't going to stay perfect like this, he felt joy.
Author note: The end. Though, some might notice there seems to be a bigger story here than just this; there is. But I don't have time to write it right now, I'm kind of planning a REAL wedding ;)
Not completely satisfied with this last chapter, so even though this was posted as a gift, feel free to critique. That way if/when I post the full story it will be better. I will not get offended, as life sits right now, very few things can make me unhappy. :)
Love you CaptainFlye.