Sparks Fly @sparky86
Chapter 2

Series: Naruto

Pairings: NaruHina

Author: Lynns

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto Masashi

Type: Alternate Universe/Romance

Author Note: Almost been four years since I last attempted to write. It's like my writers muse decided to take a very long vacation and then the last few days it came back to me. I felt bad for leaving this fanfic unfinished and also Candles still needs a part 2; but I decided to write again and complete this fanfic. It's been sitting in the back of my mind for the past few years and I know how I've wanted to end this fic, but just couldn't find the motivation to sit down and write. I'm not writing this for the reviews, I'm just writing because I feel the need to. So if you are reading this, welcome and enjoy!

Sparks Fly

Chapter 2

Naruto sighed as the truck rolled down the snowy/gravel road. He wasn't sure what annoyed him more; the huge snowflakes falling from the sky or Konohamaru's dirty knee right beside the driver's wheel. Six adult men had crammed into the truck and while it certainly wasn't comfortable, at least it was only a short drive to Tin Town where the safety meeting was being held. While the three front passengers were unusually quiet, the other three in the back were chatting amongst themselves excitedly on what they were going to do on their days off.

"I knew it was a bad idea to let Kiba go gas up the truck before the safety meeting . . ." grumbled Sasuke, who was squished against the passenger door.

The other lead hand laughed, "It's not the first time he's done something like this. We should be thankful Ino was on our pad and could take the rest of the guys. At least when we head back we will have all three trucks instead of two,"

Sasuke nodded in agreement, "Is this going to be a long one? I'd rather complete our cable pull sooner than later with the way this snow is coming down."

Naruto shrugged, "I know Iruka mentioned that Neji arrived last night, but aside from that it should be the usual length. However, I have a feeling we will be digging in the snow trying to find the damn cable by the time we get back. Move your knee for a second Kono, I need to turn here,"

The third year apprentice obliged as they pulled into Tin Town; thankfully they were one of the first trucks their and were able to find a decent parking spot. With a loud groan all six electricians spilled out of the vehicle and did a small stretch.

"You guys can have a quick smoke break before the meeting, but don't take too long."

The three journeyman nodded and headed off to the designated smoke pit while Naruto, Sasuke and Konohamaru headed into the trailer. Most of the crew was there except for the ones working in the plant, Pad 10 and higher ups in Trailer 1. As they passed Kiba in the middle row, Naruto grabbed some mud off his shoulder and rubbed it into the lead hands hair.

Kiba shot off the ground, "What the heck was that for!?"

Naruto smiled at him, "There, now we are even for you taking the truck this morning for a joy ride."

"I wasn't taking it for a joy ride! I told you I was going to gas it up!"

"Uh huh,"

"It's home day, asshole! There was a line up at the pumps and it took longer than usual!"

Naruto shrugged as they made their way to the front, "That's why I told you to leave right after the morning meeting, but you didn't listen."

Kib scowled and sat back down in his seat.

"He probably did it so he wouldn't have to be part of the cable pull . . . "mumbled Konohamaru.

Naruto chuckled as he took a seat in the front row, "Oh I know that's why he did it! I'll be sure to talk to Shino and make sure he's the one that has to terminate those big conductors into the panel when the time comes."

The trailer was starting to get noisier and noisier as everyone piled in from outside. Most were either talking about their days off or the hell they were about to endure at the start of the shift with all the snow. Naruto took off his hat for a moment to scratch the top of his head, but his hand paused; it still felt so strange with how short his hair was. He sighed sadly at the loss of his hair.

"If you miss your hair that much you shouldn't make stupid bets like 'the loser has to shave his head' when the stakes are on a football game."

Naruto frowned and nudged his friend, "Please don't remind me, and I can still hear Ino cackling when she buzzed all my hair off in front of everyone."

Suddenly the trailer quieted down for a fraction of a second, meaning that Gaara and Kakashi had arrived, but it was the confused whispering he heard amongst the crew that caught his attention.

"Who is that?"

"She's new! Is she related to Neji? They do look similar."

"Look at that long hair!"

"Wow she's a cute one!"

"Is she the new office administrator?"

Naruto turned around.

Gaara didn't mention hiring a new office administrator, I wonder if they just sent someone from a different site to help us out for a bit.

His eyes widened and his breathing stopped completely.

What is she doing here!?

He turned back around, facing the front and keeping his head down. Thinking quickly he noticed there was still some spots along the front wall; as Hinata took her spot beside Neji, Naruto slipped in beside him and Sasuke quickly followed. His friend nudged him sharply and gave him a confused look as to why they were now standing. Two apprentices who has been standing along the wall immediately took the open seats, meaning they had to stay where they were.

Naruto kept his head down and looked at Hinata from the corner of his eye, hoping she wouldn't notice him yet. She was looking around the trailer, waving and smiling at anyone she recognized in the crowd. The confused looks that Kiba and Shino were giving her meant they didn't know she was on site either.

Is she here just for the safety meeting? No that doesn't make sense . . . she's working in the office at Hyuuga Power . . . so then is she just here for a visit to see everyone? Seems kind of strange she would just come up for that though . . .

"Alright! Alright! That's enough everybody! Quiet down and pay attention! We should get this weekly safety meeting underway!"

Sakura's booming voice carried across the room and almost instantly the men became quiet; Naruto smiled at the way she was able to get everyone's attention so easily.

"Good Morning everyone! Welcome to this snowy Home Day Wednesday! Back shift, I know you are all anxious to go home today! I only ask that you drive safely and enjoy your days at home. Front Shift, we unfortunately get to work in this wonderful winter wonderland, so I hope you have your winter gear here.

"First things first, you all recognize Neji Hyuuga, who is here to talk about the upcoming projects in the New Year. Also I'm sure you have noticed we have a new face among us. Some of us know who she is, but most of you don't. Could you please step forward, Hinata?"

I didn't just imagine it; she is just brimming with confidence now. Where is the shy apprentice I knew all those years ago?

The shy stuttering girl he last remembered seemed to be gone, and instead before him was a beautiful assertive woman that at this moment had complete control of the room.

"This is Hinata Hyuuga and she is actually Neji's cousin. She works at the head office and is here to help us clear up the paperwork mess in the field administrator office. Hinata will be with us for the remainder of the year, so if you see her around don't be afraid to say hello and introduce yourself. She may be only here to help with paperwork, but for the record she is also a Master Electrician."

When Gaara finished, Hinata spoke to the entire room, "It's very nice to meet you all and it will be a pleasure working with you."

As she stepped back, everyone gave her small round of applause before turning their attention back to their leader, "Thank you Hinata. Now I'm going to turn everything over to Neji, who like I said has made a special trip up here to talk to us. Neji, the stage is yours."

Neji stepped forward, leaving an empty gap between himself and Hinata. She was less than three feet away from him and he didn't know what to do. Should he say hello? Maybe it was best to stay quiet until the end of the meeting and then try to talk to her?

That might not work either, meetings are usually hectic afterward and I might lose her in the crowd. I can't wait until I get back to camp either . . . this is my only chance!

Without hesitation, Naruto took one small step towards her, leaned his head down so only she would hear him and gently placed his hand on her shoulder, "Welcome back, Hinata. It's so good to see you."

Slowly her head turned around to look at him and for a moment it seemed she didn't recognize him. Her eyes searched his face and scanned up to his hat; looking for his blonde hair. Naruto gave her a warm smile as she realized who was now standing beside her and was happy to see her smiling back at him.

She took a step closer to him and whispered back, "I-It's good to see you too, Naruto. Working hard out there?"

Naruto chuckled softly and released her shoulder, "But of course. This morning we did a high voltage cable pull. If I had known you were here I would have requested you join us and show these rookies how it's done."

Back in their apprentice days Naruto had many fond memories of them all doing cable pulls; while they weren't exactly fun per say, the crew always made it more enjoyable with jokes and songs.

"As I recall those cables are 100 pounds every 5ft, I doubt I could have helped much. Granted when we did those pulls years ago I wasn't holding as much weight as you boys were."

He nodded in agreement, "True, however you are still one tough cookie. I seem to recall one cable pull where you lost your boots in the mud, but you kept walking in your sock feet."

It was one of Naruto's favorite memories when they were all second year apprentices. The night before that cable pull it had rained all evening and into the early morning. It certainly hadn't been ideal weather, but unless the weather was below -40 degrees Celsius cable pulls always happened whether it was rain or shine, wind or snow. There had been around 50 of them for the pull and at one point while walking back to the reel, he had passed by Hinata who had been between Choji and Shikimaru with the cable on their shoulders. He watched as they marched slowly through the deep mud and Hinata's boots sunk so deep she couldn't pull them out. In most cases, the person stuck would usually stop dead in their tracks and drop the cable to try and free themselves, but he watched horrified as Hinata's feet came out of her boots and she kept walking in her sock feet. While it was amazing to see her keep trudging along without her boots, it was highly frowned up! Naruto had run over while yelling at everyone to stop the pull and tried to yank Hinata's boots out of the mud. Thankfully Choji was strong enough to support Hinata's load of the cable while he helped her get the boots back on her feet. He half attempted to lecture her on how dangerous it was to do something like that, but also praised her as well for doing something so unexpected.

"I didn't want to hold up the crew. Besides, that's nothing compared to the time you slipped in the ditch during that rain storm. You were covered from head to toe in mud and forcefully sent back to camp. You and Iruka argued for over ten minutes that you were fine to keep working for the rest of the day, even though it was cold and you were sneezing."

Naruto snickered at the memory, but when he glanced to the side to see Kakashi giving him a warning glare his soft laugher stopped. He could feel Sasuke give him another nudge to stop as well.

"Ahem. Yeah those were good times. Listen, I know we should be listening to Neji here, but give me a shout sometime tonight after work okay? I'll treat you to dinner."

She laughed at the inside joke before returning her attention back to Neji. Naruto felt a little sad she was no longer looking at him, but of course he knew this was neither the time or place for idle chit chat. As Neji continued on with his speech, Naruto's eyes moved to some of the crew sitting and a few of them were giving him odd looks. No doubt they were curious about how and why he was so familiar with the new girl that was only introduced moments ago; most likely they would be pestering him later on for answers.

I can only imagine the rumors that will start from this.

After a small intermission, Sakura turned the lights off and started a small slide show for this week's safety topic on hand protection. While all eyes were on the projection screen, Naruto glanced over at the clock on the back wall to check the time, but froze when his gaze came across Kiba. It was almost startling with how angrily the other lead hand was looking at him, and if looks could kill Naruto had no doubt he would be a bloody mess on the floor right now. Confused, he glanced over at Hinata, who had her eyes on the slide show and then back to Kiba.

Is he mad I was talking to her during the meeting? I know they're close, but what's that scowl for?

oooooooooooooooooooooo

Back on pad #12, Naruto grumbled as the snow seemed to be falling faster and heavier than before; thankfully though the guys had managed to get the high voltage cable off the ground before it was completely buried. While some lead hands liked to crack the whip on their crews, he felt that that kind of attitude always brought morale down with the guys and even bring them to despise their lead hands. However it also wasn't a good plan to be a complete push over either. Once the cable was up on the safety cones, he told the ones on Back Shift to do a large clean up with the pad and clean up any garbage they saw before they left; Front shift was to go inside the tool/material hoarding and go through everything to make sure nothing was missing.

With the electricians off the pad area, it gave more room for the pipe fitters and welders to do their job; not having to worry about anyone getting in their way while they worked. Naruto walked up onto platform 3 to scope out the area of the new pad being built on site. Usually this place was busy and congested, but with it being home day along with the terrible weather, there were fewer trades in the area.

He sighed softly and looked down at his checklist for the day, but his mind quickly wandered back to the safety meeting. While he was extremely happy he at least got to talk to Hinata, there was so much more he wanted to say, but of course during work hours was certainly not the best of time for a long discussions. Naruto tilted his head back to stare up at the grey sky; almost becoming hypnotized by the falling snow.

It had been three years since he had last seen Hinata. The last memory he had of her was at the campus bar when they were celebrating passing their exams. After that, he and the others had returned to Konoha Energy that spring for work and were shocked to find out Hinata wasn't coming back. Naruto had been both happy and sad that she was moving on in her career, but he just couldn't shake the feeling that it was his fault she hadn't returned to the industrial side.

Granted if I had confessed to somebody and their response was "You're a great friend and fantastic to work with!", I doubt I would want to be around them after that.

It had probably taken him a full year to realize what Hinata had actually meant that night and even now the guilt from it was overwhelming at times. He had tried to blame it on the alcohol and that he wasn't in his right mind, but Naruto knew that was only part of the reason. Hinata Hyuuga, daughter of the big company Hyuuga Power and top of the class smart wise was clearly out of his league; he just felt lucky enough to have her as a friend and co-worker. He never thought of her that way and had kept her in the friend zone for all those years. Looking back at how nice she had been and everything she had done for him, it was obvious how she felt towards him. Or had felt towards him.

More times than he could count, Naruto would start to dial her phone number or type out a text asking how she was doing and wondering if they could catch up over coffee. However every time he couldn't find the courage to call or hit send on the message. The only ones she had seemed to stay in touch with all these years were Kiba and Shino.

Maybe that's why Kiba was glaring at me. He's probably still mad I broke his friend's heart and here I was just chatting with her all nonchalantly as if nothing had happened.

Naruto sighed. It also didn't help that for years he spent 'chasing' Sakura around and asking her for dates. At the very beginning he had tried seriously to ask her out, but when it became very clear she only had eyes for Sasuke he knew it was never going to happen. However he kept up with the charade more so because he enjoyed Sakura's angry reactions and getting a rise out of her. Seeing it from everyone else's perspective though, it would seem that he was desperately in love in with the pink haired electrician. The charade he put up and placing Hinata in the immediate friend zone had probably hurt her feelings deeply, especially if she was trying to get his attention; it also didn't help that when she confessed he quickly assumed she only liked him as a friend and nothing more.

I've been thinking and carrying the guilt about this whole thing for way too long. I should have contacted her years ago, but what's done is done. I need to talk to her . . . but what about after that? How do I really feel about Hinata? Is it . . .

"Naruto, do you copy?"

The blonde lead hand nearly jumped off the platform when the radio on his shoulder blared his name and snapped him back into reality. Trying to slow down his racing heart, Naruto took a deep breath and spoke into the microphone.

"Yeah go for Naruto."

"Hey man, have you seen the material checklist? We have the one for tools, but I can't find the material one anywhere."

Naruto paused and thought about Konohamaru's question.

"Well if your 100% sure it's not on the clip board I gave you, then it must still be in Shino's office."

"I've checked through these pages four times now, it's definitely not here."

"Ten Four. I need to head to the trailer anyways, so I will grab it and bring it to you guys when I'm done."

"Thanks man."

Naruto made his way down the platform and over to the two lunch trailers that were designated for the electricians on the pad. One was a simple lunch trailer and boot room for the guys, but the second one was where the onsite office was for himself, Kiba, Sasuke and Shino. Most of the space was used to store drawings, monitors, meters and small desks for the lead hands to sit at; Shino had his own office at the end of the trailer.

He stepped inside, gently closed the door behind him and brushed the snow off his shoulders before taking his jacket and hard hat off. Naruto was surprised that Sasuke wasn't here working on the heat trace layout, but a quick glance out the window told him his friend was most likely off to the site warehouse to pick up more material that had arrived. Just as he was pulling off his Kevlar gloves, muffled shouting at the end of the trailer quickly caught his attention. Shino's office door was closed, but he could distinctly hear Kiba's angry voice on the other side of it; whatever was going on it certainly made Naruto curious as to what they were talking about. Turning his radio off, he marched over to the office door and was prepared to walk in if this argument was about the lighting contactor panel again.

We talked about this already last shift, I am not moving the location of that panel; not when we already have the steel strut made for the stand ready to go for the welder.

Naruto raised his hand to knock on the door . . .

"I told you to calm down Kiba. You're making this more of a bigger deal than it needs to be."

"Calm?! How the hell am I supposed to keep calm about this?! Not only have I fucked myself over, but apparently the whole god damn pad as well!" growled Kiba.

Naruto paused and brought his hand back down. Just what on earth were they talking about? He could hear Kiba pacing back and forth in the small office; you could practically feel the frustration in the room seeping through the cracks in the door.

"I warned you to keep it in your pants . . ."

"And I told you that I wasn't sleeping around! Geezus fucking Christ I slept with that one housekeeper a few times a year ago and now I'm being labeled the male prostitute of the whole god damn site!"

Shino sighed in frustration, "I am fully aware of that Kiba; I'm talking about last shift when we were all at the local bar to celebrate Jiraiya's retirement. The brunette you were eyeing up all night, remember? I told you not to go near her and to keep it together."

"Yes, those are the precise words to say to an intoxicated man," Kiba barked sarcastically, "You could have at least told me she was the project manager for the scaffolders! Now she's holding a grudge!"

Naruto flinched when he heard Kiba pound his fist on the desk.

"Will you pull yourself together already? I told you it's not as big of a deal as you think. She is only delaying the work by a little bit, but we will still finish on time. What I want to know is what you did to make her feel this much animosity towards you. As soon as she found out who was all on this pad, she suddenly moved the construction date to next shift and told me we weren't a priority. Luckily we are ahead of schedule so it won't affect us that much."

"How the hell do you know it was me!? Maybe Naruto or Sasuke did something to piss her off!?"

Kiba's question was met with by silence.

"Okay fine! Geezus man, don't' look at me like that! Yes, I slept with her okay! I went to the hotel to get cash from the ATM and she stormed by me. I asked if she was okay and the next thing I know her fricken tongue was down my throat. You think I'm going to pass that up!?"

Naruto thought back to that night last shift; they had all left site to head over to the local bar for drinks. Jiraiya who had been not only his mentor, but also a good friend of the family, was now retiring from Hyuuga Electric after working 35 years in the field. That night, there had been a lot of laughs and drinks to be had. Not only had the electricians gone out to celebrate, but a bunch of the scaffolders, insulators and pipe fitters as well. Even though he himself had been completely smashed to the point he couldn't completely stand on his own, but he remembered everything about that night. The evening had been going smoothly and everyone was having a blast; in fact that was the night he made the bet with Ino that she could shave his head if the Cowboys lost the football match. That is until he volunteered to run out to the truck to get Jiraiya's smokes, which was where he . . .

Wait a minute . . . Shino said the woman Kiba slept with was a brunette . . .

Biting his lip, Naruto wracked his brain for answers; trying to remember all the girls that had been at the bar that night. There had been six total. The two blondes which were Ino and Tsunade, the pink haired one had been Sakura. There had also been two brown haired ones, but that was TenTen and the barteneder . . . which left . . .

The parking lot was completely packed with everyone coming out for tonight's celebrations. It almost seemed like an obstacle course just to try and get to your vehicle. Once he located the truck near the back of the parking lot, he opened the door and pulled Jiraiya's pack of cigarettes from the middle compartment between the two seats. The others probably thought he was being a suck up to the retiring electrician, but truth be told he just wanted an excuse to leave for a bit to enjoy the outside air and quietness. Grabbing what he needed, Naruto closed the door and leaned against the truck. He had a really good buzz going on and knew he would pay for it in the morning, but for right now he couldn't help but laugh at all the fun they were having tonight.

"You alright there? Or did the truck tell you a funny joke that I didn't hear?"

Naruto was startled by the sudden female voice talking to him. The brunette woman had a very slim but muscular build to her, and he could not deny how good looking she was wearing tight jeans and a black T-shirt. The south side of the parking lot only had trees alongside it, while the north had the local bar, gas station and hotel. He hadn't expected anyone else to be over here.

"Heh, nah was just thinking of something funny. I'm fine thanks, just came out for some fresh air."

"Hmmm, I see. Well then may I join you for a moment?"

Before he could answer the brunette took a spot close beside him; so close that he could smell the scent of her perfume and her long hair brushed against his arm. Naruto frowned and tried to put a name to her face, but the buzz he was feeling was making it hard to think straight.

"Your Naruto right? I've seen you a few times at the gym in the evenings, but I've never had a chance to talk to you. I'm usually busy dealing with Gaara or Kakashi with Hyuuga Electric."

It finally dawned on him, "Oh yeah! I remember you now! Your name is . . ."

Naruto froze and felt like he was about to be sick.

This is not happening . . . this is not happening right now . . . she was with him too?

"What's done is done though. Regardless of her coming onto you so strongly, there must have been something you did to make her upset. Was she constantly texting or trying to contact you?"

There was a long pause before Kiba answered, "No. No I didn't give her my number and she made it 100% clear that this was a onetime thing before we even stumbled into that hotel room. She was frustrated or mad about something, but I didn't bother to ask what was wrong. I was thinking with my dick and not my head, okay?! It's just . . . she looked like . . ."

Silence immediately followed.

Shino remained quiet, but Naruto was so close to opening the door and demanding that Kiba finish his sentence.

"Let me ask you this . . . if Naomi and Hinata were standing side by side, would you be able to tell them apart while drunk off your ass?"

The field foreman groaned loudly, "Oh god . . . don't tell me you . . ."

"Damn it! I screwed up okay! I didn't intentionally go in there to fuck her and then cry out Hinata's name!" Kiba was now pacing again. "I get it why she's pissed off! Nothing ticks a woman off more than this kind of thing!"

Kiba paused.

"What can I do to make this right? Does she want an apology?"

"I don't think there's an apology in the world that could fix this. However, like I said she doesn't seem to be making that big of a deal out of it; I understand though why she is acting this way now . . . plus that also explains that extra-long hug you gave Hinata today after the safety meeting."

"Shino . . ."

"So how long have you been lusting over our best friend?"

Naruto's mind was in such a haze he couldn't tell if Shino sounded upset or hurt or angry from the situation that was taking place right now.

"You're making it sound like I just betrayed you and told everyone all your secrets . . ."

"That doesn't answer my question."

"Frick man, I don't know! All of high school she was just a friend, most of the apprenticeship too! I only started to see her different after . . . after . . ."

Naruto's ear was now firmly pressed up against the door.

"After?"

"Don't judge me okay?"

"I think it's way too late to be requesting that, but please do continue."

"She was just always wearing those baggy clothes. All of high school, back at camp, work and on our days off you never saw her dressed in anything flattering. I knew she lacked the self-confidence and fashion sense on how to dress nice. I tried to help by asking Ino and Sakura if they could lend her a hand. She didn't want their assistance, but I told them if she was hesitant to the advice they should just tell her that if she dressed a little differently she might get that idiot's attention. I was just trying to help her out."

Naruto frowned; he didn't need to be told who the 'idiot' was they were talking about.

"They went shopping the day before the Christmas party and Ino had texted me saying they found a killer dress for Hinata to wear. We made sure that idiot was by the door when she walked in and when I saw her too . . . it was like this switch just flipped inside me. I couldn't look at her the same again.

"I knew she liked him and I've tried to get rid of these feelings but they just won't fucking go away. I've been keeping all this bullshit bottled up inside, hoping that maybe she would look my way at least once! He's never contacted her in three years, yet anytime we all met up for lunch she would always ask about him and how he was! Do you have any idea how much that fucking pissed me off?"

"Kiba . . ."

"I'm not mad at her! I'm not even mad at him either! I'm mad at the fact that I didn't make a move when I should have. I just didn't want to be that kind of guy! She was so upset when Naruto turned down her confession; I didn't want to suddenly tell her 'Well I like you more than just a friend, wanna go on a date?'. I was just hoping she would get over him and then I could finally take a chance. Had I known she was coming to site I would have told her sooner . . . now she's seen and talked to him already. Fuck, she looked so happy too . . ."

Shino was silent for a bit, "How did Hinata seem after that long hug?"

"Confused, awkward and curious. I couldn't look her in the eye when I turned around to find Kakashi."

"Well can you blame her? Look Kiba, yes I am your boss, but you are also my best friend. This conversation only stays between us. You need to talk to Hinata. It might be awkward, but it's best you tell her sooner than later what's going on with you. It's probably going to be a little uncomfortable for a while, but make your intentions known."

"Fuck . . . I was afraid you were going to say that . . ."

Suddenly the phone in Shino's office rang loudly, making everyone jump.

"Geezus . . ." grumbled Kiba.

"Hello, Shino speaking."

Naruto looked up and pulled his ear off the door at the sound of Sakura's voice coming over the speaker phone.

"Hey Shino, has your back shift crew left for days off yet?"

"Not yet. Kakashi wanted them to work until 2pm and then they were going to head home. We have enough trucks out here to drop them all off back at camp if that's what you're wondering."

"Well that at least answers one of my questions. But actually I have one more question and also a small request. My question being who is staying behind for unit #1212? That truck has to go back to the shop for maintenance. And my request is, both Ino and I have to attend a last minute safety meeting with all the coordinators and that's going to last till after 6pm. I need someone to go to the Konoha Energy office and pick Hinata up from orientation."

Before Shino could answer Kiba chimed in, "I'm the one that has to wait for unit #1212 and don't worry about Hinata, I'll pick her up before I head home."

There was an extremely long pause before Sakura replied, "Alright. Just be sure to park somewhere she can see you please. Thanks guys, and have a good days off Kiba."

"Your welcome."

A small click indicated that phone call was over.

Naruto slowly backed away from the door, making his way towards the exit. He paused for a moment before opening the door and then slamming it shut; making super loud noises before walking back towards the office. He knocked loudly, "Hey Shino are you in a meeting? You don't happen to have the material check list do you?"

The door suddenly swung open, but Kiba did not exit the office and instead took a seat in the spare chair.

"Ah Naruto, good timing. Is Sasuke back yet? When he returns could all three of you please take the back shift guys to camp?"

Naruto nodded, trying to force a cheerful smile on his face, "No problem. Now, what about that material checklist?"

000000000000000

He felt like his head was about to explode with all the information he had received and big part of him was regretting eaves dropping in the first place. It was a very double edge sword situation that he seemed to have fallen into.

Naruto leaned back against the seat and let out what was probably the tenth sigh since Sasuke had exited the vehicle. The windows were now completely covered in snow, blocking out the light from the street lamps and the heat was slowly leaving the once toasty warm vehicle. He had been oddly quiet on the drive back to camp, and he knew Sasuke had noticed, however his friend did not question him . . . for now that is.

Knowing that bastard he's probably going to tell Sakura about it and then she'll come after me with an iron fist to find out what's wrong.

Dropping his head against the steering wheel, Naruto closed his eyes and tried to get a grasp on what was going on.

Kiba likes Hinata . . . . Hinata likes me, or rather did like me, I'm not sure where she stands right now . . . and mean while I . . . I . . .

He thought back to what Kiba said, about first noticing Hinata in a new way at the Christmas Party that one year. No one had been more oblivious than him as to why Kiba was forcefully pushing him towards the entrance/exit to the hall. In his dunce mind he had thought Kiba wanted to bring him to the ticket counter to buy him more drink tickets for the evening, but that thought had immediately left his mind when the three girls had walked through the door. Sakura and Ino both looked stunning with their hair and makeup done; however it was how they looked every year at the Christmas party. Meanwhile Hinata who usually wore a business suit to this kind of event, had done a complete 180 to the point that he barely even recognized her. Dark hair and been curled and half put up into a loose bun, meanwhile the long sleeved blue dress she wore was not that revealing, however it was so skin tight that it left nothing to the imagination. The only skin that showed was her entire back. Naruto felt like a complete asshole; for that was the night he too saw her in a different way. After that, she started to dress a lot differently; sporting jeans and tighter sweat shirts that didn't show off her curves too much, but you still could see them. There was no denying that he found her attractive, and not just physically either. Her kind heart, determination, ]sense of humor and new found confidence just made his heart flutter; on top of that she was beautiful on the outside as well, which was just the icing that topped the cake.

Opening his eyes, Naruto stared at the snow covered window and came to a conclusion that he had been pondering for a few years now.

I like Hinata . . . I really really do like her . . . but what do I do now? Kiba picked her up after orientation, so does that mean he confessed to her? What if she said yes? What if I'm too late to even try and talk to her now?

His mind started to spiral downward into negative thoughts, but was soon stopped by that inner determination he always seemed to have; no matter how dire the situation seemed.

No. Nothing has been set in stone yet. You haven't even talked to her properly, and you certainly can't do that while sitting in this freezing ass truck. Get out now and go find her!

Feeling determined all of a sudden, Naruto grabbed his bag from the back and opened the truck door. Slamming it behind him, he briskly walked towards the camp boot room. He was going to go to his room, shower and then call Hinata so they could meet up for supper. Maybe, just maybe he stood a chance with . . .

"Good evening, Naruto."

He froze dead in his tracks as that familiar silky voice hit his ears. The freezing wind was nothing compared to the cold dread that suddenly swept over his body when he realized who he had just come across in the parking lot. Her long hair was tucked into the FR toque on her head and she was wearing a large jacket as well, but there was no mistaking her for someone else.

Naruto swallowed the huge lump in his throat loudly before softly addressing the scaffolders project manager, "G-Good evening Naomi."

She gave him a small smile and walked over towards him. Every fiber of his being wanted to leave and sprint towards the camp, but he remained still and tried to return her smile.

"Busy day?" she asked, motioning that they should start walking.

Naruto tried to hold back his long strides so she would be able to keep up, "Uh, yeah. Pretty busy, I suppose. We got that cable pulled in easily enough. When are your guys going to be making it over to the pad to start building the scaffolds we need?"

Best to play dumb here and not let her know what you know.

Naomi frowned, "Oh, well some more urgent requests came in so unfortunately we can't send any guys over to pad #12 until the end of next shift. Sorry about that, I'm sure it will cause some problems for your dead line."

Naruto pretended to be disappointed, "Aw well that's too bad. I sure hope we can finish our work sooner than later. Well Naomi, I hope you have a good night; I have to run. I promised my crew we would play ping pong tonight after supper."

"Ah I see, well yes a promise is a promise."

"Have a good night, Naomi."

Naruto picked up the pace, trying to get away from her as soon as possible, but her next comment slowed him down completely.

"Oh well isn't that interesting. You got my name right this evening."

He stopped and closed his eyes.

Shit shit fuck fuck fuck god damn it. I was praying to god she wasn't going to bring this up

Before he could say anything the sound of loud screeching breaks made the both of them look towards the camp entrance. A Hyuuga Electric truck had stopped right by the door and Naruto could just barely make out the unit #1212 on the front drivers side.

"Isn't that the vehicle Kiba usually drives?"

Naruto turned around and tried to block her view of the truck, "Ah, usually yes he does! I'm surprised that he's still here actually! It's home day for . . ."

"Well now, who's that little cutie getting out of the vehicle?"

Fuck . . .

Looking back towards the Hyuuga truck, Naruto watched silently as Hinata exited the vehicle. She exchanged a few more words with Kiba and by the expression on her face, his last comment had left her speechless. Kiba then closed the passenger door himself before driving off into the night; leaving Hinata standing at the camp entrance by herself. After a few moments she finally made her way inside to the warm boot room.

Naruto bit his lip and looked over his shoulder at Naomi who was wearing an un-readable expression, "Hmmm, don't tell me . . . is that the infamous Hinata?"

He didn't answer her.

"Well now, I can definitely see why you poor boys got me confused for her that night. Seems to me that you both are pining for the same girl."

Naruto's breath hitched, "Naomi . . . I . . ."

She scoffed at him, "Oh stop looking at me as if I'm the villain in a superhero movie; you two are the ones that ruined my night last shift and all I wanted to do was have a little fun. Can you even comprehend how awful it was for me that not once, but twice to have two different men call out the same woman's name and not mine?

"You look as if I'm about to rat you out to your boss about what happened that night; just relax. What happens up north stays up north. I won't intentionally seek this Hinata out, but if I happen to run into her on site somewhere . . . well then perhaps I will have a little chat with her."

Panic set into Naruto as he watched the brunette walk towards the boot room, "Naomi wait!"

"You better come inside, Naruto. It's starting to get colder."

To Be Continued . . .

Authors Note:

Ten four, for those who don't know is radio talk for "I understand"

FR stands for Fire Retardant, it's a kind of material you have to wear on oilfield sites

Just a quick note about the potential drama this fic could possibly turn into; I'm not for full out drama. Never been a fan of it. So for those who thinks this story is going to take a dramatic turn with so much misunderstanding you think you're in a soap opera and be like a 20 chapter fic, please hold your horses. This is for the most part a romantic fic with just a sprinkle of drama to add to it. By no means is Naomi a villain nor will she purposefully be causing a lot of trouble. For the time being the plan is for eight chapters with maybe an epiologue.

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