Okay, so I know I said I would update faster this year, and I meant it when I said it. But a lot has happened from then until now. The flu hit, there was a major family event, I had to make a 30 minute movie for my sister's swim team (the editing software crashed every 4 minutes and about drove me insane), I've been focusing more and more on the planning of my youtube channel, I've been working out, and now I'm preparing to move north.

But I wanted to come back and work on this story no matter what. I can't make any promises regarding the update schedule, but please bear with me. I promise I won't abandon you guys.

Disclaimer: Riyuto-san does not own Naruto. If he did, chapter 616 would have come a lot earlier.

Chapter 8: Drop-in

Naruto had a hard time sleeping. It wasn't the couch's fault; heck, it was the softest thing he had ever slept on. It just felt so weird. He never thought the day would come where he would spend the night at the Hyuuga compound, let alone live there.

The sun rose, peaking through the curtains and spreading light into the room. Naruto gave up on trying to go back to sleep and sat up, rubbing his tired eyes as he yawned. He looked over at Suzuka. She was still asleep on the bed that seemed way too big for just her. Just like everything else she did, she slept silently.

Naruto envied her a bit for being able to sleep so soundly. Sighing, he glanced around the room. He knew that he had to find a place very soon. He knew he wasn't very welcome here. How was he supposed to live in a place where no one wanted him around? He wasn't very fond of their strict rules to begin with. There was no way he would last long here without going insane.

Before Naruto could rise from the couch, a light knock came from the door. Naruto pushed the blanket off of him and crossed the room quickly. He glanced back at Suzuka to see if she had awoken, but she was still asleep.

A thought flashed through his mind. Suzuka usually woke up first and would wait quietly for him to wake up. Why was she sleeping so soundly now? He chose to put it off for later and turned back to the door.

He opened it to find Hyuuga Neji standing in the doorway.

"Hey Neji." Naruto greeted.

The Hyuuga nodded. " Naruto. I trust you slept well."

"Huh? Oh…yeah, like a log." He lied, grinning. "So what's up?"

Neji glanced over to Suzuka's sleeping form and nodded his head towards the hallway. "Let's talk in the hallway."

Naruto understood and nodded. He stepped out and closed the door behind him. "So what do you want?" He asked.

"I have been chosen to remind you about the proper Hyuuga etiquette." Neji stated.

Naruto stared blankly at Neji. "…eti-what?"

Neji rolled his eyes. "Listen, Naruto. If you are going to live here, you need to know how we work."

"But I don't plan on staying here for long." Naruto protested.

"It doesn't matter. As long as you wish to remain a guest, you need to know the rules."

Naruto sighed. "Okay, I get it. So what are they?"

"You are not to go snooping around the Hyuuga estate. The only room you are allowed to enter is your room, unless asked otherwise. But no matter what, Hinata-sama's room is off limits."

Naruto's cheeks flushed. "I wasn't planning on going there!" He defended.

Neji ignored him. "Do not cause a disturbance for the Hyuuga clan, and do not do anything that would cause people to think bad about the clan. Understand?"

"Is that it?" Naruto asked. Honestly, he thought there would be some ridiculous rule about brushing your teeth with exactly 84 strokes in circular motion or something. This sounded easy.

"Do you understand?" Neji repeated.

Naruto nodded. "Yeah, I get it."

A brief silenced passed between them.

"So I've heard about your predicament." Neji said casually. "Is everything going alright?"

Naruto grinned. "Yeah, everything's fine. I mean, my apartment burned down, but other than that we're great."

Neji stared at him seriously. "This curse may be the end of you. You do realize this, don't you?"

Naruto locked eyes with Neji. "I won't let that happen. No matter what, I'll beat it."

Neji considered Naruto for a moment before smirking. "Well, if it's you I'm sure you'll find a way." He turned away and started down the hall. "If anything were to happen to you, Hinata-sama would be sad."

Naruto gasped lightly at Neji's words. So he knew? Did he also know about the confession? He felt his cheeks heating up just thinking about it. He shook his head, trying to stop.

Neji stopped and turned back to Naruto. "Breakfast will be ready in ten minutes. If you want to eat, I suggest getting the child up and joining us in the dining room."

"Oh? Alright, we'll be there." Naruto replied earnestly. He was hungry.

"And one more thing. Do not come out of your room for any reason tonight. If you have business to take care of and are out when night comes, please find somewhere else to spend the night."

"Why? What's going on?" Naruto asked, not that he really cared.

Neji stared down at the floor as if he wasn't happy about something. He let out a sigh. "It's none of your business. These are orders from Hiashi-sama, and his orders are absolute. Please follow them." Neji turned and walked away.

Naruto watched Neji walk away, wondering just what was going on tonight.

Naruto re-entered the room to find Suzuka awake, standing beside the bed watching him. He told her about the breakfast arrangement.

She nodded. "I'm hungry."

Naruto had to agree with her. He hadn't eaten much yesterday, considering he had spent the entire day searching for imposters and fighting fires. His stomach growled in confirmation, and he nodded at her.

They made their way through the long halls of the Hyuuga household. Naruto had no idea where the dining room was, and thankfully spotted a maid on his way and asked for directions. She bowed to him and offered to lead him.

When they reached the dining room, she bowed again and left them to resume her chores. Suzuka stepped through the archway first, followed by Naruto.

There were quite a few Hyuuga in the large dining hall. They were all gathered around the long table in the center of the room, talking amongst each other and eating their breakfasts. Naruto spotted the Hyuuga he knew easily. Hiashi sat at the front of the table, with Hinata to his left and an empty space to his right. Neji sat beside Hinata with an expression that showed he was deep in thought.

Hinata's expression was hard to read. She looked like she was uncomfortable being here, but at the same time seemed really excited about something.

Upon noticing Naruto had entered the room, every respective conversation died as an awkward silence filled the room.

Naruto grinned as a reflex. "Morning." He greeted.

He heard a few Hyuuga mumble something, but Hiashi silenced them with a glare. He turned his gaze to Naruto and bowed his head. "I trust you slept well, Naruto." He said.

"Huh? Oh, yeah. It was great." He lied. "So where do I sit?"

Several Hyuuga rolled their eyes at him.

Suzuka bowed politely. "Thank you for having me. May I please join you all for breakfast?" She asked respectfully. Naruto nearly toppled over in surprise. Everyone else nodded in approval of the young girl, annoying Naruto a little.

They were lead to the far end of the table. The end was void of occupants. Naruto and Suzuka sat alone, as far away from the other Hyuuga as possible. Naruto couldn't help but think this was some sort of message that they weren't welcome.

He sucked it up and took a seat next to Suzuka. "I didn't know you could talk like that." He said.

Suzuka stared forward. "I can read the atmosphere." She stated.

Naruto had no idea what that meant, but he couldn't help but think she was making fun of him somehow.

It didn't take long for their food to be brought to them. Set before him was a bowl of steamed rice, miso soup, a rolled omelet, nori, and a cup of tea. Naruto blinked at his mini-feast.

"That's a lot of food." Suzuka said. She had been caught off guard as well.

Naruto nodded, but he wasn't going to complain.

"Itadakimasu!" He exclaimed as he started into his food. Each bite was an overwhelming surprise of flavor. He had never had food this good. He even had to admit that it was better than ramen (but only a little).

He finished with his miso soup and then drained his cup of tea. He noticed the other Hyuuga were stealing glances at him, shaking their heads and wearing overall looks of disdain. Naruto wanted to yell at them and demand to know what he had done wrong, but he held himself back. He didn't want to get kicked out of here just yet.

He looked over at Hinata to get her reaction. Their eyes met immediately. She blushed and turned away almost as fast as Naruto did. His heart beat loudly in his chest.

Suzuka noticed the exchange as she silently sipped on her tea.

"Naruto-san." Spoke an older Hyuuga gentleman. "If I may ask, how long do you plan on living here amongst us?"

"Not long. I plan to be out of here as soon as possible." Naruto replied. He heard someone mutter that it wasn't soon enough. Naruto growled but suppressed his urge to yell at the man. It took every ounce of self control he had. He didn't know how he was able to bite his tongue, but he was vaguely aware that Hinata was watching and he didn't want to cause a scene in front of her.

Just then, a young Hyuuga girl entered the room from behind Hiashi and seated herself to his left. "Good morning Father. Sister." She greeted.

They greeted her in return.

Naruto blinked at the younger girl. He didn't know Hinata had a little sister.

Hanabi looked down the table and spotted Naruto. She looked him over and sneered at him. Naruto felt his eye involuntarily twitch in annoyance.

"Father, why do we have to share our home with a non-Hyuuga?" She asked with a sense of superiority.

"Hanabi, he is a guest in our home for the time being. We owe him a large debt of gratitude for ending the war and bringing peace to the Shinobi world." Hiashi said.

Naruto felt it sounded a little forced. He was probably still bitter about Tsunade practically blackmailing him into letting Naruto stay.

Hanabi turned to him. "Thank you for saving all of us." She said as sarcastic as possible.

A few Hyuuga chuckled at Hanabi's comment.

Naruto growled and stood abruptly. He knew when he wasn't welcome, and he didn't want to be around these people any longer. "Thanks for the food." He said coldly.

Suzuka stood quickly and bowed.

They returned to their room, but only to gather appropriate clothing. Naruto grabbed his jacket and Suzuka donned her purple jacket.

"So where did you learn to talk all fancy like?" Naruto asked her as he zipped his jacket up.

Suzuka was quiet for a moment before answering. "My first home after being cursed was a wealthy family. They taught me how to act like a noble."

"Oh." Naruto replied. He knew to drop it. She wouldn't expand on the subject anyways. But still, she had never really offered anything about her past like this before, so he felt a little happy.

They left their room and reached the front of the compound without running into any Hyuuga and left the mansion.

With any luck, Tsunade had found a breakthrough overnight that would rid him of the curse and his nightmare would be over.

They weren't halfway to the exit when he heard someone calling his name.

They turned around to see Hinata running towards them. She wore a sincere look of regret.

"What's wrong Hinata?" Naruto asked.

"Ano…I wanted to apologize for everyone's behavior." She began. "They just d-don't like it when outsiders listen in on their private conversations."

"I wasn't!" Naruto defended.

Hinata nodded quickly. "I know, but they don't see it that way. They all respect you very much, Naruto-kun."

"They weren't acting like it." He replied.

Hinata reacted like she had been stung. She frowned and looked to the ground. "I'm sorry." She said.

Naruto's mouth hung open, desperately searching for the right words to say to cheer her up. He hadn't meant to hurt her feelings. He looked down at Suzuka for advice. She just shrugged.

Naruto chose to smile. "Hey, don't worry about it. It's not your fault. I'm not mad at all. I'm just going to go and see if Obaa-chan found anything out about the curse."

Hinata raised her head, somewhat relieved. "O-oh, I see. I wish you luck, Naruto-kun." She said with a shy smile.

"Will you come with us?" Suzuka asked out of the blue.

Naruto and Hinata both gasped. He wasn't sure why Hinata did it, but he was shocked by her assertiveness. She didn't act like an emotionless girl. Well, not all the time. It was like she had a switch she controlled at will. She had claimed she never got attached to anyone, but she held an interest in Hinata for some reason.

"Ano…I d-don't know if it would b-be okay." She replied, her cheeks pink.

"It will." Suzuka replied, looking up at Naruto.

Naruto got the message. He smiled at Hinata. "She's right. You should come with us, if you want to."

Hinata looked up at him nervously and smiled shyly. "Thank you."

"So what's going on tonight?" Naruto asked en route to the Hokage Tower.

Hinata nearly jumped out of her body in shock. He caught her completely off guard. "W-what do you mean?" She asked.

"This morning, Neji told me that something is going to happen tonight, and I should either stay in my room or stay away for the night." He replied.

Hinata's gaze continued to flicker from Naruto to the ground. It was obvious she wasn't comfortable talking about this. "Neji-niisan didn't tell you anything else?" She asked.

He shook his head. "No. That's why I wanted to ask you."

"…I see…." She replied. Her eyes filled with sadness for brief moment. "It's nothing. Please don't worry about it, Naruto-kun. It's just…private Hyuuga matters."

Naruto wanted to press the matter a little more, but he caught her expression and realized she really didn't want to talk about it. Whatever it was, she wasn't looking forward to it very much. But just knowing that made him want to know what was going on even more.

But he didn't want to upset Hinata.

"Heh, I get it. Sorry for bugging you about it." He offered, smiling sincerely.

Hinata smiled back at him, but her eyes still retained a bit of sadness. "No, I-it's okay, really. I'm sorry. It's just that Father would be angry if I told anyone about it."

Naruto nodded in understanding and looked down at Suzuka. She observed the two like mildly interesting subjects she was studying. She noticed Naruto looking at her and quickly adjusted her gaze forward.

They walked in silence the rest of the way to the tower. When they arrived, they got all the way to Tsunade's office when they ran into Shizune.

The older kunoichi stood in front of the door, barring their entrance. "Sorry Naruto, but Tsunade came in yesterday and announced that she was not to be disturbed the rest of the week."

"What for?" Naruto demanded.

"She's buried herself in research. She wants to remove that curse from the two of you as soon as possible."

After being turned away, Naruto and the others wandered down the street again. Naruto tucked his hands in his pocket and growled over the rotten luck.

Hinata smiled apologetically. "I-it can't be helped, Naruto-kun. Tsunade-sama is r-really worried about you."

He blinked at her. "You think?"

She nodded. "Yes. I truly b-believe is doing all of this because…because she doesn't want to lose you."

Naruto sighed. He understood. She had seemed pretty freaked out after the fire incident yesterday. He pulled his hands out of his pockets and folded them behind his head. "Well, I have no idea what to do today. I really don't want to go back to the Hyuuga's. No offense." He quickly added.

She smiled. "I understand. Honestly, neither do I." She replied. Naruto got the feeling it was for a completely different reason than his.

"So what should we do?" He asked.

Hinata fell into her thoughts for a few moments. "Ano…Has Suzuka-chan been shown around the village yet?" She asked.

Naruto thought about it. "She's been to a few shops and to Ichiraku's."

Hinata looked down at Suzuka. "Would you like to see the rest of the village?" She asked.

Suzuka looked up from Hinata to Naruto and back again. She shrugged silently, which was the closest thing to a yes they were going to get.

They walked around the village for a while. Naruto showed her the training grounds he frequented, and Hinata showed her the Yamanaka flower shop.

It was just his luck that Yamanaka Ino of all people had to be manning the shop. And by luck, it was bad luck of course. The memory of Ino using his body to create a Naruto-shaped crater in the wall the other day. He felt a chill rush down his spine.

Ino looked up from the counter as the three of them entered the shop. She smiled. "Hinata! Suzuka!" She exclaimed, honestly happy to see them. Then she caught sight of Naruto. "Naruto." She muttered angrily.

It then occurred to Naruto that yesterday's misunderstanding still had yet to be resolved. He gulped.

"Hey Ino." He tried.

Her eye twitched. "Don't you 'hey' me!" She snapped.

Hinata looked very worried and confused. "Ano…."

Ino ignored her friend as she continued to glare at Naruto. "You never came back! I waited for hours before giving up on you."

"Ino…look, I was going to come back with proof, but a lot of things happened and I just forgot to come back." Naruto tried.

He looked over at Hinata for help, but seemed frozen in place for some reason. Her eyes were really wide too.

"N-Naruto-kun…what is she talking about?" She asked.

Ino cracked her knuckles. Naruto flinched. "Be careful of this one Hinata. He's a pervert who hits on every girl he sees."

"I told you that wasn't me!" Naruto yelled back. He gushed about everything that had happened yesterday. From confronting the imposter to his apartment burning to being stuck with the Hyuuga.

Ino calmed down as she listened to the story. In fact, she grew more concerned than angry. She would look to Hinata and Suzuka to confirm parts of Naruto's story. They would nod in unison.

When Naruto finished, Ino let out a sigh. "I'm sorry to hear about your home." She offered. "So the guy is in jail right now?"

Naruto nodded. "That's where we left him. After that we found out my place was on fire."

"I see." Ino replied. She grinned apologetically. "Sorry about that yesterday. I was seriously angry, though. I'll spread the word that it was just an imposter posing as you."

Naruto grinned. "Thanks."

She nodded. "No problem." She looked over at Suzuka and smiled. "As a token of my sincere apology, I'll let you pick out any flower you want. It's on the house."

Suzuka looked up and Ino and nodded. She looked around the shop. She walked all around, looking at each type of flower. She suddenly stopped as her eyes locked onto a flower. She leaned down and picked up a yellow flower that had four petals. It had been pre-trimmed of any thorns.

She walked up to Ino and held it up to her.

"Are you sure that is the one you want?" She asked.

Suzuka nodded.

Ino took the flower and looked it over. An idea suddenly crossed her mind. "I'll be right back." She said. She took the flower and disappeared through the back door.

She returned a few minutes later and approached Suzuka. She crouched so that she was eye level with the child. She held up the flower and a small hair clip.

"What are you doing?" Naruto asked.

"Trust me; I know what I'm doing." Ino replied.

She slid the flower into her hair above her forehead to the left. She slid the hair clip behind the flower and managed to hide it out of sight, while the flower remained in her hair perfectly. Ino looked her over and smiled.

Hinata smiled brightly as well. "You look so cute, Suzuka-chan!" She exclaimed.

Ino nodded, brimming with pride at her work. "Isn't she?" Ino led Suzuka to a full length mirror at the side of the store.

Suzuka stood there, studying her reflection. She focused on the flower in her hair, eyes lit with wonder. She tilted her head cutely. Her hand hovered near the flower, as if she were afraid that if she touched it, it would vanish.

"Do you like it Suzuka?" Ino asked. Suzuka nodded once. "Do you know what that flower represents?" She shook her head.

"Wait, flowers mean things?" Naruto asked.

Ino rolled her eyes. "Of course they do. How dense can you be?"

"How was I supposed to know that?" He snapped back.

"My God, you're like a child. Look, all flowers have very different meanings. For example, a primrose can mean eternal love, where as a marigold refers to pain or death." Ino said.

Naruto blinked. He didn't really get it, but it sounded complicated. He got that flowers had meanings though. He looked over at Suzuka, who was still looking at herself like she didn't recognize the person in the mirror. He focused on the flower.

"So what is that flower then?" He asked.

Ino turned her gaze to Suzuka.

"It's a celandine." She replied.

"Okay, so what's it mean?"

Ino smiled. "Joys are to come."

"I had no idea flowers had their own language." Naruto commented while walking down the street besides Hinata and Suzuka. "Did you know, Hinata?"

She blushed and nodded. "Yes, Naruto-kun."

He thought for a moment. "Do you think you could teach me about them sometime?" He asked. He didn't want to come across a time when he gave a flower to someone that meant to go die or something.

Hinata's cheeks flushed. "I-if that's what you want, I would be h-h-happy to, Naruto-kun." She replied.

Suzuka kept lightly touching the small flower every now and then. It was like she wanted to confirm it was still there.

Naruto couldn't help but think of how ironic that flower really was. The two of them were cursed to bad luck, but she wore a flower that meant joy was to come to them? It would have been funny if it hadn't been happening to him.

A short while later, they passed by the Ninja Academy. Naruto could hear Iruka from behind the building, shouting orders. Interested, Naruto led them around the fenced in area until the class was in sight.

Iruka was apparently running the academy students through taijutsu exercises. Naruto noticed that the kids all looked around Suzuka's age. He grinned.

"I remember doing this." He admitted.

Hinata nodded. "Yes, me too."

They watched in silence for a little bit. When Iruka began ushering them towards the building, an idea began to form in Naruto's head. He glanced down at Suzuka and grinned.

"Follow me guys." He said as he headed towards the entrance of the academy.

"It were those very same ideals that this village was based on." Iruka said. He stood in front of his class, giving a lecture about the history of the village. "Can anyone tell me what two clans came together to form the village?" He asked.

A young boy with a bowel cut raised his hand reluctantly.

"Yes Toshi?" Iruka asked.

"Um…I think it was the-"

"The Senju and the Uchiha, right Iruka-sensei?" Naruto said as he walked through the entrance to the classroom. He wore a mischievous grin on his face. Suzuka and Hinata followed in behind him. Hinata looked reluctant to be there.

Iruka's brow twitched at the sight of Naruto. "Naruto! What do you think you're doing? I'm in the middle of a very important lecture!"

The students all let out a simultaneous gasp. Excited whispers flowed through the room.

"Is that the Uzumaki Naruto?"

"The hero of the shinobi world?"

"He looks so cool!"

Naruto smirked, trying to pretend he couldn't hear their praises. "I just wanted to drop in and if you're still a good teacher." He tried.

Iruka folded his arms. "Don't you have Hokage training?"

Naruto shrugged. "I've got time off. It's a long story."

A kid near the front practically leapt out of his seat. "Iruka-sensei taught Uzumaki Naruto?" He exclaimed, followed by a chorus of amazement.

"Settle down, all of you!" Iruka ordered. They all complied immediately. The chunin shook his head. "Seems like you've gotten popular lately."

"I know right?" He replied.

Iruka rolled his eyes, and then noticed the rest of Naruto's party standing back by the door. "Isn't that Hinata? You and her getting along well?"

Naruto felt his cheeks tingle. "Err…well…I guess, yeah…."

Iruka raised his brows and smirked knowingly. "Are you acting shy?"

Naruto stole a quick glance back at Hinata, hoping she wasn't listening. Knowing his luck lately, she probably heard every word.

Iruka laughed at Naruto's flustered face. Then his eyes fell upon Suzuka. "So what's up with the kid?" He asked.

Naruto turned around to look at Suzuka. She stood in front of Hinata, and was looking around the room with mild interest.

"That's Suzuka. Due to some circumstances, she's kind of living with me." He replied.

A young boy sitting in the back row caught sight of Suzuka and his eyes widened. His gaze focused on her for a long time. When she turned his way as she surveyed the room, he quickly averted his gaze to the ceiling. His eyes constantly darted to the side, as if trying to catch a glimpse of her.

Where had Naruto seen that before?

"Living with you? What about her parents?"

Naruto shook his head. "She's an orphan."

Iruka's expression softened in understanding. "I see." He was quiet for a minute as they watched her. "Is she going to be enrolled in the academy?"

Naruto scratched his head. "I dunno. I don't think she really wants to be a ninja. Besides, I don't think it would be possible."

"Why not?"

Naruto quickly explained everything he knew about the curse to his former teacher. Iruka looked shocked at first, and then sympathy washed over his face.

"I see. I can only imagine what she's been through." He offered.

Naruto nodded. He spotted the boy in the back again.

The boy had closed his eyes and was taking in deep breaths. His face grew serious, and when he opened his eyes they were full of determination. He rose from his seat and walked nervously over to Suzuka.

"Umm…Hi." He offered. "My name is Taisuke. What's yours?" He asked.

Suzuka looked at him without betraying any emotion whatsoever. "Suzuka." She said.

"Suzuka huh? That's a very pretty name." He smiled.

Suzuka just stood there staring at him for the longest time before turning away from him without a word. Taisuke's jaw hung open dejectedly. He dropped his head in shame.

Hinata smiled apologetically down at him. "I'm sorry Taisuke-kun. Suzuka is just really shy."

The boy didn't seem to hear her. He sighed and plopped himself back down in his seat. His heat hit the desk with a thud of defeat.

Naruto felt bad for the kid. He and Iruka shared a sympathetic laugh.

"Hey, Naruto." Iruka began. "Here's an idea. Why don't you let Suzuka sit in on this class."


"We're just going over the history of the village. If she's going to be a member of Konoha, then there's no harm in letting her sit in. Besides, she might make a few friends."

Naruto looked up at Suzuka. Knowing her, it was highly unlikely she would make a single friend with the way she acted, but he found the idea of Suzuka participating in a class appealing. Naruto nodded.

"Yeah, sounds good. But what about me and Hinata?" Naruto asked.

"You guys stand in the back. Just don't cause any trouble, okay Naruto?"

Naruto feigned he had been hurt. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Naruto had asked Suzuka if she had wanted to participate in class today. She said yes, but in a way that told him she didn't really care either way. She wound up sitting next to Taisuke, who seemed to be beside himself with happiness.

The corner of the back row had two empty seats, so Naruto and Hinata took those seats and listened in on the lesson. Naruto leaned back in his seat, smiling.

"Man, now this brings back a lot of memories." He whispered. He didn't want to have Iruka yell at him in front of a bunch of kids that called him a hero. They had all cheered when Iruka had told them Naruto would be sitting in on the lesson. They kept stealing glances at him and smiling.

Hinata nodded. "I agree."

An awkward silence passed between the two. Naruto thought he could try to focus on the lecture, but it was boring. He would much rather talk to Hinata, but about what?

He searched his mind for anything that would start up a conversation. "So…um…oh yeah. Why did you want to tag along with us today?" He asked.

"Huh?" Hinata asked, honestly caught off guard.

"You know. If you didn't want to, you could have told her no. I feel bad from taking your day away from you." He replied.

Hinata blushed. "It's okay. I'm glad I was able to…spend time with you and Suzuka-kun." She started twiddling with her fingers. "I'm also…worried about Suzuka-chan and you, Naruto-kun."

"Worried? About what?" He asked.

Hinata bit her lower lip. "The curse. I don't want anything to happen to the two of you." She admitted, looking at Naruto.

Her eyes were filled with so much sincerity and affection, Naruto felt his heart nearly skip out of his chest.

Naruto had to admit that the curse frightened him a little too. He knew he would beat it, but there were times when he felt it was a little too much. And this was only the beginning. Losing his home had been a large blow.

He chose to smile. "Hey, don't worry about it. I'm Uzumaki Naruto. There's no way I'm going to die before becoming Hokage."

The worry from Hinata's eyes didn't subside, but she smiled softly in response. "I believe in you, Naruto-kun."

There was silence for a few moments more before Hinata spoke again.

"N-Naruto-kun?" She began nervously.

"What?" He asked.

"Ano…D-do…do you think…I mean, if it's not too much trouble…could I…could I…ano…help raise…ano…help…." She tried. She really tried her hardest to muster the courage to finish her request, but the words wouldn't come out no matter how hard she tried.

Naruto intently listened to her, even if he didn't understand what she was trying to ask.

Finally, Hinata just sighed in defeat and shook her head. "No, never mind. I'm sorry."

Naruto didn't press the issue, although he really did want to know what she had wanted to ask. Great! Now it was going to bug him for the rest of the day. He sighed and rested his head on the table. Now was the perfect time for a nap.

After class had let out, Naruto, Hinata, and Suzuka found themselves wandering down the streets of Konoha once again.

The boy had walked with Suzuka until they had left the building. He told her he would see her later before running off.

Turning a corner, Naruto looked down at Suzuka. "So? How was the class?" He asked.

Suzuka shrugged. "It was okay."

Naruto smirked mischievously. "What about that boy?" He asked.

Suzuka glanced up at him briefly out of the corner of her eye.

"I think he really likes you." Teased Naruto. "You guys looked really cute together. Almost like real boyfriend and girlfriend." He laughed.

"You mean just like you and Hinata?" Suzuka replied bluntly.

Naruto and Hinata both froze in place while Suzuka kept walking. Naruto's expression was still in mid laugh, but looked quite shocked as well. If Hinata's face had gotten any redder, she would probably pass out where she stood.

It took Naruto a few moments to recover. "What the heck are you talking about?" He flustered as he chased after Suzuka. "I don't know what you're talking about. Hey Suzuka! Don't ignore me! Suzuka!"

Hinata stood stock still, watching the two of them get farther and farther away.

She frowned as she looked up towards the sky.

"That's right," She muttered sadly. "I won't be around to help Naruto-kun out much longer anyway."

(Author Notes)

Wow, this took longer than expected. Oh well, I hope it was well received.

I had an idea, and I hope it doesn't sound like I'm getting ahead of myself or anything. Would anyone be interested in a youtube series about how to write fanfiction? I mean like tips and tricks. I thought about sharing my creative process, as well as getting the opinions of other fanfiction authors I know.

Let me know in either a PM or a review if you think it's a good idea or not.

Anyways, you know the drill by now. 5 Reviews or no update.