Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ Colors of Life and Death ❯ The Shinobi's New Clothes ( Chapter 32 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
<P>Naruto took the bag of items Tomoyo had bought for him into his room and locked the door. He sighed, set the bag on his bed, and reached inside.<hr size=1 width=100% noshade>As Hinata and Tomoyo waited for Naruto to come back from changing his clothes Nabiki walked into the room. "Hi, Hinata...chan." She was silent for a moment as she took in Hinata's muddy outfit. "Whoa. What the heck happened to you?"
<P>Hinata blushed slightly. "Naruto-kun and I had a...mud fight."
<P>Nabiki grinned. "Why am I not surprised that Naruto-kun was involved?"
<P>Hinata giggled.
<P>"You want something to change into till you get home?" Nabiki asked.
<P>Hinata nodded fervently. "Yes please."
<P>"Wait here a sec," Nabiki replied. With that, she disappeared into the hallway.
<P>Hinata folded her hands in her lap and waited patiently. Nabiki returned with a small bundle of clothes and handed them to Hinata. "Don't worry, I made sure to pick out something tame."
<P>Hinata bowed her head. "Arigato. I'll change into them after Naruto-kun comes back."
<P>About a minute later they heard Naruto's voice from the hall. "Okay, I'm ready!"
<P>"Well come out then!" Tomoyo said as she wandered in from the kitchen with a sandwich.
<P>"Okay," Naruto replied. He walked into the room and Hinata's jaw hit the floor. He was wearing a pair of slightly loose, leaf-green cargo pants, his shuriken holster and wrap on his right leg. His equipment pouch was on his left hip. He had on a medium-blue T-shirt with a large orange swirl on the front and two inches of fishnet on the ends of the sleeves. The last accessory was a pair of fingerless gloves the same color as his shirt, with metal hand guards on the back which were swirl shaped and orange. "What do you think?" he asked with a hopeful smile.
<P>Tomoyo smiled in approval. "I think you're gonna have to beat the girls off with a stick."
<P>Nabiki laughed. "Don't say things like that - You'll worry Hinata-chan."
<P>Naruto had gotten compliments from everyone but the one he wanted. "Hina-chan?"
<P>Hinata barely managed to blink away her trance. "H...hai. look...wonderful," she breathed. She walked over to him and put her hand on his face. "I...never could look even more handsome than before."
<P>A grin spread across Naruto's face and he kissed her. "Thanks, Hina-chan."
<P>"What about you?" Tomoyo asked Naruto. "What do you think?"
<P>"I like it. I really like it a lot. Thanks, Tomoyo-nee-san," Naruto said as he gave her a hug.
<P>"Hey, Hinata-chan. You should go change," Nabiki offered.
<P>"H...hai. Would it be alright if I washed up too?"
<P>"Sure. Just go down the hall, fifth door on the left. Watch it though, the water in the shower gets hot fast," Nabiki warned.
<P>Hinata nodded and hurried away.


She pulled out each of the carefully placed bobby pins and clips from her hair. Once they were all sitting on the counter in a neat pile she reached up once again and slid off...a wig. As Hinata stared in the mirror she gently fingered her now nearly shoulder length hair. "I won't be able to hide this from father much longer," she said with a frown. She remembered the way Hiashi had reacted when she had asked if she could grow her hair long.
<P><center>----------------------------------------FLASHBACK -------------------------------------------</center>
<P>"Hinata, I have told you before, until you are a great warrior you are not worthy of long hair."
<P>"B...but what does long hair have to do with being a warrior?"
<P>"Few families still carry on the tradition, but only a few generations ago warriors wore their hair long as a sign of loyalty to their feudal lord. To have it cut off meant...dishonor."
<P>Hinata's eyes widened and filled with tears.
<P>"You have not been dishonored, but you haven't earned honor in the first place either."
<P>"P...please, Father? Even've said I've improved," Hinata pointed out gently.
<P>"A small amount of improvement does not make you a great warrior! Now, get back to your training."
<P>"B...but, Father..."
<P>"Not another word!" Hiashi said, and then walked away.
<P><center>----------------------------------------END FLASHBACK-------------------------------------------</center>
<P><I>"It doesn't make sense. He didn't always think of Neji-Nee-san as a great warrior, but he let him have long hair. Maybe Tsunade-sama knows something."</I> She turned the faucet, stepped in the shower, and let the water wash away her thoughts.
When Hinata walked in Nabiki grinned. "I <I>knew</I> we were about the same height. It's a perfect fit!"
<P>Hinata looked down at her outfit. "Are you sure?" She was wearing a pair of blue denim shorts that stopped about three inches above her knees with an off-white belt. Her shirt was a medium lavender with bell sleeves that came to her mid-forearm. The shirt was also low cut (but not revealing much), with a bodice-like edge and burgundy lacing tying up the chest area to the top.
<P>"You look great!" Nabiki assured her.
<P>Naruto looked like a deer caught in a car's headlights. "" was all he managed to say.
<P>Hinata blushed heavily. "Arigato, Naruto-kun."
<P>"If he likes it that much, you can keep it," Nabiki said.
<P>Hinata's eyes widened. "No! I couldn't take your clothes from you."
<P>Nabiki shook her head. "Take them. I don't have much time to dress up anyway," she said with a laugh.
<P>Hinata smiled. "I guess a new outfit would be nice."
<P>"Very nice," Naruto commented softly as he stared at her. Hinata quickly resembled a tomato and Naruto's eyes widened. "Did I say that out loud?" he asked with the look of someone who wanted to hide.
<P>Nabiki snorted. "Fraid so."
<P>"Hina-chan...I...I didn't mean. I...I'm not a pervert, I swear!" Naruto said, waving his hands in front of him.
<P>"Naruto-kun, you're a guy. It's totally normal," Nabiki commented.
<P>Naruto glared at her. "I am NOT a pervert!"
<P>"I didn't say you were. I meant that it's normal to react that way. Now, if you ran over to her and grabbed her butt, then-- you'd be a pervert," Nabiki said.
<P>Naruto was positively bug-eyed. "G...g...g...grabbed..."
<P>"N...Naruto-kun?" Hinata said in a small voice.
<P>Naruto looked at her. His expression showed he was horrified over what Nabiki had just said.
<P>Hinata smiled shyly. "It's okay. I'm...I'm not mad."
<P>Naruto visibly relaxed and blinked rapidly in surprise. "R...really?"
<P>"Nhm. In fact...I...I'm glad you think I'm so...pretty," Hinata answered, fiddling nervously with her hands.
<P>Naruto smiled. "You're the best, Hina-chan."<hr size=1 width=100% noshade>Naruto and Hinata, holding hands, walked down the streets of Konoha. They were heading for Hinata's house when Naruto felt a tugging on his pant leg and looked down to see a small girl around five years old. "Hi," he said brightly.
<P>The girl held up a couple of roses. "Naruto-kun...Sissy asked me to give these to you."
<P>"Sissy? Who's..." Naruto trailed off as he noticed Hayama Momiji hiding behind a news stand and frowned. But he wasn't about to hurt the feelings of such an adorable girl as her little sister. He smiled brightly at the child. "Arigato."
<P>"You're welcome!" the girl replied as she ran off.
<P>Once he was sure the girl was out of sight he scanned the area for Momiji, but she was gone. He turned back to Hinata, who was looking very worried. "Hina-chan. Just forget about that. <I>You're</I> my girlfriend," he said as he stared into her eyes. He glared at the spot he'd seen Momiji at earlier. "I'm gonna find her and set her straight."<hr size=1 width=100% noshade>Momiji's heart was pounding as she made her way home. <I>"One small step at a time. I'll make him see that I'm way better for him than Hyuuga Hinata."</I>
<P>"OI! Momiji!"
<P>Momiji smiled. "I knew it would work," she said to herself. She turned around, but her smile vanished when she saw Naruto's angry expression.
<P>"What's wrong with you?" he demanded.
<P>"You knew Hinata is my girlfriend and you gave me flowers?"
<P>"I...I thought you'd like them."
<P>"No...I don't," Naruto answered coldly.
<P>Momiji winced.
<P>Naruto looked down for a moment and sighed. "Look, I know what it's like to want someone you can't have, but you hurt Hina-chan's feelings. If it happens again, I won't be your friend anymore," Naruto said calmly.
<P>Momiji's eyes filled with tears. "I...I'm sorry." She turned and ran away from Naruto.
<P>Naruto sighed and walked back toward town.<hr size=1 width=100% noshade><B>Two days later...</B>
<P>Kakashi took a deep breath and knocked on Tomoyo's door. It had been so long since they had been able to just sit and talk. The door opened, and a smiling Tomoyo appeared.
<P>"Kakashi-kun! Come on in!" she said brightly.
<P>Kakashi's visible eye crinkled with his smile. "Arigato."
<P>"Sit anywhere; I'll get us some tea," Tomoyo said.
<P>Kakashi sat down on her couch. "So, when are you planning on moving to an apartment?"
<P>"I have to wait for my jounin status to be reinstated so I can have enough money," Tomoyo answered as she walked in with two cups of tea and sat down next to Kakashi. "Until then, Tsunade-sama is paying for the hotel."
<P>"I see."
<P>"Tomoyo-chan...why didn't you tell me you were leaving?" Kakashi asked in soft tone.
<P>The smile fell from Tomoyo's face. "I...couldn't. I didn't think I was coming back." She put down her tea. "I <I>had</I> to go. When I heard Minako-chan had started a gang I..." She sighed. "I wanted to keep her from becoming a bad person." Tears fell down her cheeks. "I guess I failed," she said as she looked down. She felt a finger under her chin and raised her eyes to meet the face of it's owner.
<P>Kakashi pulled his headband away from his other eye. "Tomoyo-chan, you didn't fail. She chose honor in the end."
<P>Tomoyo nodded. "Thank you," she said with a small, grateful smile before giving him a hug. After a moment, she pulled away from him and inclined her head in curiosity. "Kakashi-kun...may I ask why you wear that mask?"
<P>Kakashi sighed. "Because I didn't want girls chasing me," he answered with a half smile.
<P>"I don't get it."
<P>"I didn't want women to be attracted to me. Telling women 'no' all the time got to be too I started wearing the mask."
<P>Tomoyo's face was a blank slate for about five seconds...then she doubled over with laughter.
<P>Kakashi regarded her with a bemused smile. "It's not <I>that</I> funny."
<P>"I'm sorry," Tomoyo said in between giggles. "It's the idea of you having <I>fangirls</I>!" she said as her hysterical laughter resumed.
<P>"They're a pain. I tried to convince Sasuke to go with a mask once, but he wouldn't listen."
<P>Tomoyo's giggles slowed, and she stared at Kakashi. After a moment, she reached up and grabbed the edges of his mask. He instinctively flinched and pulled away. Tomoyo frowned.
<P>"Please, Kakashi-kun? I want to see your face," Tomoyo pleaded. "I haven't seen it since the year I left."
<P>Kakashi looked down for a moment, then sighed and nodded. Tomoyo pulled down the mask...and sucked in a breath. "You're..." she reached up and touched his face. "I didn't know...that any of the angels were men."
<P>...TO BE CONTINUED<P><center><hr size=1 width=100% noshade></center>
<P>Okay, a tiny bit of cheese there, but I'm a sucker for fluff. Hopefully the next chapter will come sooner. And please please let me know what you thought of everything.
<P>There's a picture of Naruto and Hinata's new outfits on the COLAD art page: planetmyhill. com/ Quicksilver/ Fanfic/ COLADArt/ COLADart.htm Obviously, you need to remove the spaces in the addy. Enjoy. (Warning: I don't draw well)