When Naruto and Sasuke arrived the carriage had been stopped and Shino and Sakura were standing next to the elk.
"Where's Hinata?" Naruto asked as he landed next to the two.
"She is inside the carriage changing. We need keep the appearance of upperclass." Sakura explained. "Did you find Sasuke?"
Just then Sasuke landed next to her making her jump slightly.
"Great, you can change after Hinata. Tsunade packed your garments as well."
A few moments later the door to the carriage opened and they saw small delicate feet step down. Once the door closed it revealed a blushing Hinata dressed in a tan colored yukata with white embroidery and a white obi. For many it would be an elegant gown but for a princess it was normal traveling attire.
"You look wonderful."
Hinata looked up at everyone for the first time.
"Woah." Naruto mumbled when everyone saw Hinata's eyes. She had put in the contacts and now had regular brown eyes. "It's kinda weird seeing you without your eyes."
Sakura nodded in agreement.
Hinata blush deepened with all the attention on her. "I a-already l-laid out your yukata S-Sasuke." Hinata winced at her stuttering. She knew that Sasuke hated it but she couldn't control it with that glare on her.
"Hn." Sasuke walked past Hinata and up into the carriage and in no time at all he walked back out dressed in a grey yukata with a thin black obi.
Hinata noticed Sakura's eyes go wide looking at Sasuke. She knew that Sakura had always had a crush on Sasuke but she didn't realize that she still had such strong feelings for him. She had thought that with everything that he had put her through that she was over him. But she really didn't have room to talk. She had literally put her life on the line numerous times for Naruto and he had done nothing in response to her confession so many years ago. And althought Hinata wasn't completely sure if she wanted to admit it, but her crush didn't seem as strong as it use to be.
Sasuke didn't respond to Sakura's comment. He knew she was just fan-girling over him and if she did this every time he dressed nicely this mission was going to be even more annoying.
"Oh wow, what an outfit man." Naruto started to laugh but it quickly ceased when a kunai whizzed past his ear and was embedded into a tree behind him. "Alright, alright. I get it."
"I think this is a good time to get moving." Shino broke the tension. "Hinata and Sasuke, you should get in the carriage while I drive and Sakura and Naruto walk beside the carriage. We should arrive in less then twenty minutes."
Hinata nodded and gathered up the delicate fabric so not to trip. She went to open the door but was astonished when she saw Sasuke opening the door for her.
"After you princess." Sasuke said with an edge in his voice.
"T-thank you." Hinata quickly went into the carriage with Sasuke behind her. He shut the door and the carriage was off.
Sasuke sat on one side and Hinata sat on the other. They didn't talk, deciding that silence was best. Hinata didn't mind. She liked quiet. Kiba was the talker of the group, but when it was just her and Shino they wouldn't say much and just enjoy each other's company in comfortable silence. It seemed to be that way with Sasuke as well. He was the quiet one on his team. Letting Sakura and Naruto voice their opinions and keeping his to himself.
She looked over at the Uchiha. He was currently looking out the window. She couldn't make out his face because it was covered by a shadow.
"It's like the darkness follows him."
Hinata broke out of her trance once again by Sasuke. "W-what?"
"You're staring. Quit it."
Hinata blushed getting caught. "S-sorry."
"And what did I say about the stuttering?"
"I-I know b-but I can't h-help it."
"Work on it then. I've heard you talk to dog breath and bug boy without stuttering."
"T-that's because they are m-my t-teammates and f-friends. And c-could you not called them t-that? P-please?"
"Hn. Whatever." Sasuke turned back to gazing outside.
Hinata sighed. She hoped this carriage ride would be over soon.
Her prayers were answered a few minutes later there was a knock on the door. "We are here." Naruto called out.
Hinata stood up closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Then her eyes and the door opened and sunlight showed through. Hinata walked down the stairs with grace, taking Naruto's hand for support.
"Thank you Naruto-kun."
Sasuke raised his eyebrow. "Did she just talk to Naruto and NOT stutter?" He was a little shocked by Hinata's change in personality but he quickly covered it up with his usual emotionless face.
Sasuke walked down and looked around the small village.
It was nothing special. It was small that was for sure. From where he was standing he could see that the place only had one hotel and a handful of restaurants. He then noticed a group of people gathering and they were all staring at the carriage and them. He rolled his eyes at the group. He couldn't wait to get inside and away from everyone.
He looked over and saw dog breath along with his companion walking their way waving his hand. "Over here!"
As Kiba came closer he saw the outfits that Hinata and Sasuke were wearing. "Oh wow, Hinata you look…"
But he was suddenly cut off when Hinata held up her hand to silence him. She then gave him a glare that Sasuke had never seen before. "Kiba-san do not talk to me so formally. You will call me either Hinata-hime or Hinata no kimi. Do you understand because if you do not then I will have no choice but to demote you."
Sasuke watched as Hinata took command and reprimanded dog breath, but he could tell from the look on her face afterwards that she felt bad about what she did but she had to keep in character. He would never admit it but she actually impressed him just now. Who knew that little ole Hinata could actually pretend to have a backbone. But even he knew that once they were out of sight of the public that she would quickly apoligize.
Kiba broke out of his shock and gave Hinata a bow. "Of course. My sincere apologies Hinata-hime." He stood back up and gave her a smile telling her that his feelings weren't hurt. "The manager was kind enough to give us three rooms. Shall I take your luggage to your room? I already declared it safe."
"That is fine. Thank you." Hinata bowed her head in acknowledgement and then turned to Sasuke. "Coming dear?"
Sasuke was a little taken aback from Hinata but covered it up quickly and simply nodded as he followed her into the hotel while the others took their bags out.
A large bald man who looked like he was in his fifties smiled at the two as they walked into the lobby.
Just by looking at the lobby, Sasuke could tell that it was a shabby place. The chairs were old and wobbly with their cushions dull and an ugly yellow.
The man bowed. "Hello your majestys, I am truly honored that you have chosen to take shelter in my modest establishment."
"Thank you for your kindness. Now we have had a long and tiring journey and if your would be so kind to show us to our rooms we will be most obliges." Hinata gave the man a kind smile and Sasuke could have sworn that he saw that old man actually blush.
"Yes, yes, of course! Right this way." The man moved from behind his desk and walked down the long hallway until he came to the very last door at the end. He then pulled out two keys and handed them to Sasuke. "This is the finest room we have. If you need anything at all please do not hesitate to ask."
"There is one thing." Hinata said before he walked away. "Where have your roomed our bodyguards. We need them close by."
Sasuke once again was impressed. She was keeping the cover as well as asking the correct questions. Even he himself didn't think to ask where the others would be staying.
"Ah yes, they will be staying in these two rooms right next to you." The man gestured to the next two doors.
Hinata nodded in approval. "Thank you."
The man bowed again and went back down the hallway, passing the rest of the team.
"Let's go inside to get some privacy." Hinata suggested. She then looked over at Sasuke who walked over and unlocked the door. His eyebrows raised as he glanced at the room inside.
It was nothing like the lobby the room looked freshly painted a cream color with the bed spread and the rest of the room decorated in a golden yellow. It was larger then most rooms. It had a bedroom with a king sized bed with a bathroom connected and on the other side there was a sitting room with a kitchen.
"Man why does Sasuke always get the good room?" Naruto whined.
"Because he is pretending to be a prince your dolt."Kiba responded. "Now can we go get something to eat? I'm starving."
"How about ramen?"
Everyone shook their heads at Naruto.
"It's not always about you Naruto. Maybe some of us don't want to eat nasty ramen."
Naruto looked like he had been stabbed in the heart by Sakura's comment. "Then what should we do about food?"
"I-I could make e-everyone dinner." Hinata's confidence was gone and usual timid Hinata was back.
"Oh yeah! That would totally be awesome Hinata." Kiba jumped for joy. "Of course you must write down the list of what you need. We wouldn't want our princess walking around shopping." He joked.
Hinata face had a look of horror. "I'm so so very sorry Kiba."
Kiba waved his hand at her. "It's no big deal. It was a my own fault, but you can make it up to me by making us dinner."
Hinata smiled relieved that he wasn't mad.
"Oh wow! This all looks and smells amazing!" Naruto actually started to drool over the spread that Hinata had placed on the table.
"I h-hope you all enjoy it." With that, Kiba and Naruto jumped in.
"Holy crap! Hinata this might be the best ramen I've ever had even better then the old man's." Naruto was already on his third bowl of the stuff.
Hinata had a huge smile on her face. She loved to cook and loved it even more when she saw that people were enjoying it. She walked back to the kitchen and grabbed a bowl that was still left on the counter. She then put the bowl on the ground for Akamaru. "Here you go. Hope you like your dinner too." She petted the large white dog as he gabbled down his dinner with his tail wagging. She looked over at the table and saw that Naruto was still eating the ramen, she inwarderly was glad that she made extra of it, Kiba was trying to reach for the ramen as well but Naruto was pushing him away, Sakura was eating some yakisoba, and Shino was slowly eating a bowl of miso soup. She then glanced over at Sasuke.
He had been quiet for most of the trip and still hadn't said much since they stopped at the inn. He was sitting at the end of the table watching Naruto and Kiba in disgust. Hinata then noticed him make a move for the salad that she had made from the village's local produce. Her keen eyes also noticed that he took most of the tomatoes that were in the dish.
Sasuke took a bite of the salad and was surprised that it was actually good. It had been a while since he had actual decent food. When on missions he would usually have something simple like cooked fish or soup, or ramen if Naruto was with him. Sasuke looked over and saw that Hinata was still standing in the kitchen. "Well..." Sasuke directed at Hinata. "Are you going to eat too or just stand there like an idiot?"
Hinata was a little taken aback by Sasuke's sudden comment. She nodded her head. "Oh yes." She quickly walked over and took a seat at the other end of the table. Directly across the table from the Uchiha. Hinata kept her head down, not wanting to make eye contact with him. She went and grabbed a bowl of the soup and slowly sipped on the warm liquid.
Once everyone was done eating they got up and headed for their rooms to sleep.
"Sweet! Sakura and I get to share a bedroom." Naruto instantly received a punch to the face.
"Not in your life Naruto. I slept in the carriage on the way here remember? I will be taking first watch and then you will take over."
Naruto rubbed his face. "Aw but Sakura..." But he stopped when he saw the look that Sakura gave him.
"And I think that is our cue to leave. Night you guys." Kiba, Akamaru, and Shino walked out and headed to their own room.
Hinata's eyes widened when realization hit her. Kiba and Shino were sharing a room, Sakura and Naruto were short of sharing a room, that meant... Hinata turned her head and looked up at the impassive face of Uchiha. She would be sharing a room with Sasuke. Her heartbeat instantly started to increase.
How was she able to get any sleep in the same room as the Uchiha?
"Good night you guys." Sakura left dragging Naruto with her.
"Does anyone realize how I have to share a room with Sasuke?" Hinata then thought about it for a minute. "I guess we need to. We have to stay undercover after all."
Sasuke was still sitting in his seat and looked over at the Hyuga who now was starting to get red in the face. "Did she just realize we will have to share a room?" Sasuke rolled his eyes. The chair screeched as Sasuke stood up. "You can have the bed. I'll sleep on the couch."
"Oh no. You t-take the bed. I have been sitting in the carriage most of the day so I'm not that t-tired."
Sasuke shrugged. "Suit yourself." He then turned and walked to the bed.
Hinata was a little surprised that he did not argue but it didn't matter they had yet another long day ahead of them tomorrw. They still had a few more days of traveling and then the real mission begins. Hinata decided that to help with her tight muscles, a nice hot shower would do her some good. She looked for Sasuke and saw him looking out the window.
"I'm g-going to go take a s-shower." Hinata kept her head down and practically ran into the bathroom. She quickly shut the door and leaned against it. She was a little surprised by how nice the bathroom was. It wasn't that large but it had a shower, bath, large sink, and a toilet and they were very clean. She turned on the water of the shower and waited until it was the right temperature. Stripping down she walked in and instantly relaxed as the hot water hit her body.
"This is one interesting mission. I would never have thought that I would have to pretend that I have a romantic relationship with THE Sasuke Uchiha." Hinata couldn't help but feel a little bad for Sakura. She knew that this mission had to hurt her a little bit. She had been pining after the sharingan user for as long as Hinata could remember. "But I sorta know how she feels. Naruto is always chasing after her and never giving me the light of day."
Hinata thought more about the orange clad ninja. It use to be that just the very thought of him made her weak at the knees and made her heart do a flip but as more time past and as he still never gave her any attention, the feelings started to evaporate. Her feelings for Naruto were just a simple childhood crush, there was no substance there. Just heartbreak and one-sided feelings. Hinata couldn't help but be a little proud of herself for being able to move on from Naruto. Sure it has taken her a long time to do it but it was something.
She knew that she was still not 100% over him but it was defiantly a start when she didn't even faint in front of him anymore.
"I can put more attention on this mission now." Hinata started to shampoo her hair. "If the Fire Daimyo is in danger then it is our duty to protect him. Why would someone want to kill him? There had to be a reason. He had sat in the Daimyo position for quite some time, so it there could be more to it then just to overthrow the man and take the seat." Hinata thought a little bit more about the mission before she realized that she had been in the shower for quite some time. So long, in fact that her fingers started to wrinkle.
She quickly turned off the shower and grabbed a towel to dry off. That's when she realized that she did not bring and spare clothes into the bathroom with her. Hinata panicked for a moment before she spotted a white bath robe. Sighing in relief, she grabbed it and put it on. She then cracked the door open and peaked out to see where Sasuke was.
Hinata instantly saw him laying on the bed. He had one leg hanging off the side. He also had his arm covering his face.
"Good, he must be asleep." Trying to be as quiet as possible, Hinata tiptoed over to the couch were her bag was.
"What are you doing?"
Hinata let out a eep, but because she was still wet from the shower she slipped and started to fall backwards. She shut her eyes waiting for the crash but it never came. Instead she felt two strong arms wrap around her.
"Try not to be so clumsy."
Hinata opened her eyes and saw a pair of deep black ones looking back at her.
He helped her up to her feet and took a step backwards. That's when he looked and saw that she only had on a robe. It wasn't much. It was short and only came to her mid thigh. It was also made of thin fabric so there wasn't much to leave to the imagination.
Hinata saw him giving her the up-down. She looked down and saw that she was still in the robe. Letting out anoter eep, her face turned as red as a tomato. She tried her best to cover herself up with her hands.
Noticing her discomfort, Sasuke turned around and headed to the bathroom. Hinata took this chance to run over and quickly change. A minute later Sasuke reemerged and went straight for his bed.
"G-good night Sasuke." Hinata whispered from the couch. All she received back was a grunt.