Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto Masashi
Type: Alternate Universe/Romance
The hall at the Shinjuku Château Hotel was decorated in such a way that it made you feel like you were in a winter wonderland. Icicle lights covered the ceiling and Christmas trees were all along the walls with one huge one in the middle; the smell of cinnamon and roasted chestnuts was in the air which made you feel the holiday spirit even more. The lights were dim, music was playing softly for background noise and there were even a few ice sculptures on the banquet table. When it came to Christmas Parties, Hyuuga Electric always made sure that it was spectacular and that it would be an event you would never forget.
The tables were numbered and had name tags on the plates so that everyone knew where to sit. If you wanted to sit with a certain group of people, you had to make the request at least a month in advance; otherwise, it was picked at random. Kiba approached Table 19 and did a quick circle around it to read the nine names that were on it.
'Let's see . . . Myself, Shino, Hinata, Sakura, Sasuke, Naruto, Ino, Choji, and Shikimaru. Hmmm, that is not going to do at all. So let's switch a few names around . . .'
Kiba grabbed Naruto's name tag and switched it with Sakura's. Smiling at the small change he made to the seating arrangements, he pulled out his phone to see where the girls were. The last text he had received from Ino had worried him; Hinata was having a break down about wearing a dress to the party. At first, he had offered to come over there and talk to her, but Ino had reassured him that she and Sakura had managed to calm her down. Not seeing any new messages, Kiba put his phone back in his suit pocket and made his way over to the bar.
Drinks were free until 6 pm, but after that, you had to purchase tickets. Being that it was 5:50 pm, he figured it was best to at least grab two more before the rest of the group showed up. The hall was already pretty full, and the large groups that had gathered around were talking so loudly you could barely hear the Christmas music.
Sighing softly, Kiba stood in line and once again pulled out his phone to see if there was any more progress from the girls.
"So? Any word from Ino?"
Kiba almost dropped his phone from the sudden voice in his ear, and he even jumped a foot off the ground too. "God damn it, Shino! Stop that! I swear you're like a fricken ninja the way you sneak up on people."
Shino only smiled at him and patted his shoulder. "But your reaction though makes it completely worth it. I take it you already took care of the seating arrangements at our table?"
"Of course I did. I swear, if nothing happens tonight between those two, I'm going to drag Naruto outside and beat it into him." Kiba took a few steps forward in the line. "And then I'm going to give Hinata a stern talking to that she needs to be more confident."
His friend nodded in agreement.
After acquiring their drinks, Kiba and Shino made their way over to Table 19 where Sasuke, Choji, and Shikimaru were already there sitting in their seats.
"Merry Christmas, everyone." Said Shino as he sat in his chair.
The three men returned the holiday greeting and they started to chat amongst themselves about the plans they had over the holidays. Kiba smiled inwardly when Naruto showed up just as he got a text from Ino that they had arrived at the hotel and were just parking the car. As Naruto went to shake his hand, he stood up and started to drag the blonde with him towards the doors.
"Ah! Kiba what the hell?"
"We are getting drink tickets! The open bar is closed and I want to get as many tickets as I can before they sell out. Plus you owe me from that round of ping pong you lost a few shifts back! So you're going to buy me some too!"
Naruto frowned and sighed in defeat. "Alright, alright."
The two co-workers walked through the crowd of people towards the ticket counter. Kiba kept shifting his eyes towards the main door, hoping he would spot Sakura soon.
"You didn't bring a date tonight?"
The hall was so loud that he almost hadn't heard Naruto's question. "A date? Man, I haven't had time to meet any girls. When I'm not at work I'm at the vet clinic helping my mom and sister out. What about you? Tried asking Sakura out again?"
Naruto let out a small laugh. "I did, but as always she told me no."
'Maybe if you opened your eyes a bit more you would notice the girl that's had a crush on you now for over two years'
Just as they were almost to the lineup for drink tickets, a flash of pink caught Kiba's attention and he immediately started to pull Naruto towards the door.
"Uh, Kiba!? I thought we were getting tickets for . . ."
"I just saw the girls walk into the hall, we better show them where we are sitting, right?"
He pushed through the crowd of people, a huge smile on his face as the week-long plan was finally coming all together.
This is it! If this doesn't change his mind about Hinata then nothing will! I just hope that the dress they picked out for her isn't too revealing or . . . or . . .
Both he and Naruto stopped at the same time.
Sakura had her hair up in a bun while wearing a silk black halter top dress that flared at the hips, while Ino had her hair flowing down sporting a rather revealing two-piece purple dress that showed off her midriff. However, out of the three girls, it was Hinata who stole the show.
Her hair had been curled and was half up in a small bun, a long-sleeved velvet blue dress that covered her completely, but it was so tight on her that he could see the curves that she always hid with her bulky everyday clothes. The makeup that she wore wasn't too heavy and the finishing touch was the pearl earrings she wore that completed the outfit.
Kiba felt his heartthrob and his cheeks redden at the sight of her; he was almost at a loss for words.
W-whats wrong with me? This is just Hinata after all, so why am I . . .
Shaking his head and clearing his throat, he stepped forward and offered an arm to both Sakura and Ino. "Ladies, shall I show you where our table is?"
Both girls giggled and looped their arms with his.
"Naruto, I trust you can be a gentleman and show Hinata the way?"
The blonde electrician was staring at Hinata with his mouth still wide open, but after they walked by him and Sakura gave him a sharp jab in the ribs did he finally snap out of it. The three of them grinned as Naruto offered Hinata his arm.
Kiba leaned his head down a bit so he could whisper to both girls. "Thank you guys so much, she looks amazing."
"I was worried there for a moment when she had a small panic attack, but we managed to calm her down. By the way, if she suddenly changes into her business suit, I don't want you guys to say anything." Said Ino, "We promised her she could leave it in the car if it made her feel better that she had a backup outfit."
Sakura nodded. "We also pretty much helped her pick out a brand new wardrobe, so hopefully tonight is the confidence booster that she needs."
Kiba glanced behind him; both Naruto and Hinata were smiling and talking to each other, but for some reason, he suddenly didn't like the idea of the two of them getting closer. He frowned and bit his lip, pondering why he was having such thoughts. Perhaps it was the big brother feeling he had always had towards her, and he was just being a bit overprotective? Regardless of how he felt, he still made sure that the two sat next to each other at the table when they arrived.
Soon the evening started with Hizashi Hyuuga coming up to the stage and giving a speech to the entire room. He told a few jokes, said how proud he was with how the company had done this year and how he looked forward to what the new year would bring for them. Next, his son Neji came up and began the table games of who would get to eat first with some pop quizzes. Thankfully their table was able to eat first thanks to Sakura's smarts and a great memory of world history. As the group made their way up to the buffet table, he couldn't help but keep his eyes on Hinata. A deep blush spread across his cheeks when he realized that the back of her dress was wide open.
Geezus Kiba, pull yourself together man! What the hell is the matter with you?
Pushing aside his feelings, Kiba decided with Hinata pre-occupied he could say a few words to Naruto. He tapped his friend on the shoulder and motioned him to lean his ear down to him. "Hey, I think it would be a good idea if later on, you asked Hinata to dance."
Naruto's eyes widened and he gave Kiba a questioning stare.
"Look, she's taking a big step out of her comfort dressing up like that. If I ask her dance, it's no big deal because I'm her best friend . . . but if say you ask her to dance then I think that will help build her confidence."
The blonde man blushed and he mumbled something under his breath.
"I-I was going to ask her anyways!" Naruto hissed, his eyes darting over at Hinata who was dishing up on the Cesar salad. "I don't dance well in the first place, but I was still going to ask her."
Kiba smiled and gave Naruto a hard pat on the back.
The meal was consumed, there were a few more speeches from both Neji and Hizashi before they handed out a few company awards. Their whole table gave a huge applaud for Kakashi who was celebrating his 10th year with Hyuuga Electric. As the ceremony came to a close, they were wished a wonderful night, not to drink and drive, and that cabs were free for tonight so that they could get home safely. Soon the music increased in volume and the tables were cleared away to open up the dance floor.
Since Naruto was in a deep conversation with Gaara, Kiba took this opportunity to ask Hinata for the first dance. Trying to be funny, he knelt on one knee and grasped her hand, "My lady, may I have this dance?"
Hinata giggled and nodded her head; they linked arms and headed out onto the dance floor. The song was a slow remix pop version of 'Let It Snow'. Taking her hand in his and grasping his other hand onto her waist, the two friends began to move across the floor.
"You look beautiful tonight, Hinata."
His friend blushed and she couldn't look him in the eye. "T-thank you. I didn't want to come here dressed up like this . . . but in the long run, I'm glad I did."
He spun her a few times before bringing her back into his arms. "Well I know everyone has been telling you this tonight, but you do look amazing. I think he especially noticed."
Hinata blushed and glanced over at Naruto who was wrapping up his conversation with Gaara.
"Look . . . don't be afraid to ask him to dance okay? Guys like it when the girl takes the initiative sometimes. I think he'd be really happy if you did."
Her cheeks were so red and he tightened his hold on her in case she decided to faint. However, the blush returned to his cheeks at the feel of her body so close to his; he never knew how curvy and toned her figure really was.
"Are you alright, Kiba? Your face is red."
He laughed off her question. "Nah, I've just had too much to drink is all. I had quite a few beers before you guys even got here while the drinks were free."
That was a lie. He had maybe three light beers and even now he wasn't feeling a buzz. But she didn't need to know about the weird emotions he was going through right now. To be completely honest, HE was the one that wanted to keep dancing with her.
"Well just don't overdo it okay? You seem to speak your mind a little bit too much when you're drunk."
Kiba frowned and looked off to the side. "You're still mad about that, huh?"
"No, I'm not mad. But when you called me a Frumpy Hippy, I didn't appreciate it."
He felt a stab in the heart. "You know that I feel bad about that night. How many times do you want me to apologize for it?"
Hinata shook her head. "I've forgiven you. I'm just saying to be careful so you don't say anything you will regret to anyone here."
Kiba laughed. "I will try to not overdo it."
As they finished up their dance, he shifted his gaze over to Naruto who was watching them from the sidelines. He nodded at the blonde electrician to know that soon it would be his turn before looking back down at Hinata.
"And you try to not to have too many glasses of wine, even if Ino tries to persuade you that it's okay."
Hinata frowned. "I really don't want to remember what happened last year when I passed out in the lobby of the hotel on that couch."
Kiba laughed and gave her a hug when the song came to an end. "I'll be sure to dance with you again later, but for now I'm going to grab another beer."
As he walked off the dance floor, he watched as Naruto passed by him towards Hinata. Spinning around he watched as the two talked for a moment, before grasping hands and starting to dance to 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'. Smiling at his accomplishment, Kiba snuck over to Shino who had his phone out recording the couple on the dance floor. He didn't say anything to his friend; not wanting to ruin the video he was probably taking for Hinata. They just stood side by side in silence.
Seeing both of them smiling and laughing as they danced, another imaginary sharp pain hit the center of his heart. He frowned at this new feeling and he didn't like it for some reason. Tapping Shino on the shoulder, he motioned that he was heading towards the bar.
God damn it . . . I don't like this. Why am I getting jealous over Naruto dancing with Hinata like that? A few drinks should help me relax.
He approached their table and nodded at Sasuke and Sakura who were watching the dancing from afar.
"You two not going to dance?" Kiba asked them.
A huge blush spread across Sakura's cheeks, but Sasuke looked unfazed by the question. "No, we are just sitting here talking. Why would we dance together?"
Kiba frowned and glanced at Sakura who seemed a bit disappointed by Sasuke's statement. "Because it's a social event and it's fine to dance with co-workers. I danced with Hinata, so I'm sure it's not strange at all if you dance with Sakura."
"Huh, you have a point. Sakura, would you like to dance?"
The pink-haired electrician's face lit up as if Christmas had come early and she nodded her head. Kiba smiled as the two stood up and left towards the full dance floor. He reached into his winter coat pocket for the drink tickets he had purchased before marching straight over to the bar line. Thankfully it wasn't too long of a line-up, but it did give him time to ponder what kind of drink he wanted.
I'm going to get a good buzz going on, though I shouldn't drink too much because Ino will probably want to play a drinking game later on with myself, Naruto and Sasuke. However, I should be careful like Hinata said in case I say something stupid to . . . to . . .
Kiba looked down at the tickets in his hand.
I don't know what's going on with me tonight . . . maybe drinking isn't such a good idea.
Glancing over to his left, he saw Ino standing at one of the tall tables talking to Shikimaru and Choji. Making up his mind, he walked over to them and held the tickets out to Ino.
"What's this for?"
Kiba shrugged. "I found them on the floor and figured you could use them for a drinking game later on."
Ino smiled. "Well, thanks Kiba! I plan on defending my reigning champion as the queen of the shots. I'm assuming you, Naruto and Sasuke will be playing, right?"
He shook his head. "Sorry, but I'm going to pass this time around. I have to be sober in the morning to help my sister and mom, so not a lot of drinking for me tonight."
Kiba didn't like lying to his co-workers, but in this case, since it wasn't hurting anyone, in the long run, he was able to justify it in his mind that it was okay.
Shikimaru frowned. "I thought you usually made sure you had the next day booked off so you could let loose at the Christmas Party."
He shrugged again. "I did, but unfortunately the one vet tech is on holidays and they need the extra set of hands. Besides, I've still got New Year's Eve to get plastered. Anyways, I'm going to grab a glass of water."
The rest of the night played out as it typically would at any Christmas Party. As the hours passed some people left for the evening, some were drunk at their tables sitting down because they could no longer stand, or others were trying to out drink Ino as the bartender handed out their sixth round of shots.
Kiba watched amusingly as all three of his co-workers downed their drinks and then slammed the shot glasses on the counter. Ino let out a cry of victory as Naruto suddenly ran full speed towards the men's bathroom. Everyone burst out laughing as one person was eliminated from the competition, but Kakashi made sure to follow after Naruto to make sure he would be okay.
Round eight of the shots was distributed and then round nine. Just as Ino downed her tenth shot, Sasuke wasn't even able to take a sip of his before he suddenly started to tip over. Lee and Guy caught Sasuke easily and started to escort him also to the men's washroom.
Ino threw her hands up in victory. "Oh hell yes! I am still the Queen of Shots!"
Sakura and Hinata were immediately by her side; trying to convince her to drink some water now that the game was over.
Kiba smiled fondly at his friend.
She's so nice and caring for others. Her kind soul just shines so beautifully and who knew with the right motivation she could look this beautiful too. Also her confidence tonight is just radiating as well. Heck if I didn't know any better I would think that I'm in love with . . .
His eyes widened and all color drained from his face.
No no no no no! Stop that right now, Kiba! Get that out of your head right now! Where in the hell did that even come from?! Stop it! She's your best friend! You've never seen her as girlfriend material before! So why would that all change now?
He turned around and marched straight towards the exit. For some reason, he couldn't seem to breathe properly and needed to get some fresh air. Walking past all the people that were left at the party, he headed towards the door and pushed it open probably harder than he needed to. A few people outside that were smoking glanced at him for a moment before going back to their own business. Kiba's leather shoes crunched in the snow as he moved towards the cars, his mind wracking for answers.
Am I such an asshole that the moment she dresses a little bit differently then I fall for her? What the hell is wrong with me?! How much more shallow can I get?!
He almost felt like punching himself in the face, however before he could contemplate that thought any longer, somebody running to their vehicle caught his attention. Kiba watched as Kakashi fully sprinted to his truck and opened the door to start it up.
"Everything alright there, Kakashi?" Kiba called out.
The grey-haired foreman turned around at the sound of his voice. "Oh Kiba! Good Timing! Could you please lend me a hand?"
Kiba nodded. "Sure, what do you need?"
"Can you help me get Sasuke and Naruto to my truck? They're spending the night at my house; I didn't want them going home alone after drinking so much."
He sighed. "I can certainly do that. Are they still in the bathroom?"
The two men walked back into the hall and towards the washroom where Sasuke was at least standing by one of the sinks and rubbing his head, however, Naruto was on his knees in the handicap stall with Lee by his side.
"Well Naruto, think you can stand up long enough to make it to my truck?"
The blonde apprentice shook his head and looked like he was going to throw up again.
"I figured as much. Kiba can you stay here with Naruto? Lee, I'd like you to give me a hand helping Sasuke outside. I trust him not to throw up on my seats."
Lee nodded before walking over to Sasuke and draping his left arm over his shoulder; Kakashi took Sasuke's right arm and the two led him outside.
Kiba let out another sigh and stood outside of the stall as Naruto continued to vomit. After a few more rounds, he glanced inside to see how Naruto was doing.
"You going to live?"
Naruto let out a small laugh. "Y-yeah I think so . . . damn it why do I always volunteer to play against Ino. You . . . you'd think I'd learn by now not to."
He watched as Naruto wiped his mouth with toilet paper and reached for the water bottle that had been placed beside him.
"Because one of these days one of us will beat her . . . I hope at least. But it was worth it right? I'm sure we all had a fun night. Think you can stand?"
Kiba helped Naruto at least get to his feet; the blonde electrician tried to take a couple of steps forward but decided it was best just to lean against the wall.
"I-I had a real fun night." Slurred Naruto, a huge grin spreading across his face. "Hinata was so pretty tonight! I never knew she could look like that! She's always worn those baggy old clothes."
He frowned and was once again reminded of the time he had gotten drunk; calling her a Frumpy Hippy.
"Yeah, I know . . . but if you knew the reason she dressed like that then you'd understand. I think she just needed some good advice from Ino and Sakura is all. I'm sure from now on she'll be dressing a lot more differently."
Naruto nodded. "Well . . . that's good. I know that . . . they say you shouldn't care about how someone dresses, and that it doesn't matter. However, I think it does! M-My mother always told me that if a woman doesn't care about how she looks . . . then that's a statement about her character and if she doesn't take care of herself . . . then that's a problem right? We all should care about ourselves . . . and make sure we look the best that we can be. I always knew Hinata was beautiful . . . on the inside, but seeing how beautiful she is on the outside too . . . damn man, I should ask her out!"
He may say that . . . but I doubt he will even remember half the night with how drunk he is . . .
"Well, I'm sure she would be very happy if you did that."
Naruto smiled and at that moment Kakashi had returned.
"Lee is making sure Sasuke doesn't pass out in my truck, shall we try and escort this young man now?"
Dark eyes opened to stare at the ceiling of the Hyuuga Electric company truck. He blinked a few times before his arms moved upward for a much-needed stretch. The long drive up to Konoha Energy was not that exciting; just long roads and trees as far as the eye could see. Many times you would feel yourself start to fall asleep and would have to pull over for a short nap. Kiba had driven this route many times, and he always knew to pull into the gas station just before site to have a quick power nap before carrying on.
Letting out a loud groan, Kiba sat up and positioned his seat in the upright position so he could continue his journey back to camp. Double-checking his mug to make sure he still had enough coffee in it, he started the truck, pulled out of the parking lot and back on the road. Thankfully over the past few days, it had stopped snowing and the snowplows had been able to get out to clear the roads properly.
As he continued driving down the long, curvy road, his mind began to wander on how things were going to go when he returned to site. Had things changed between Naruto and Hinata? Did they manage to talk things over? Or perhaps had his confession moved her in a way that she no longer sought after Naruto, but instead, these last five days had been thinking about him?
He glanced down at his phone which was sitting upright beside his mug; the words NO SERVICE had been on the screen since he had passed the last town. Kiba rolled his eyes at the great cell service they always seemed to get at work. However, it did explain why he hadn't heard a word from either Shino or Hinata; if they weren't able to use their cell phones for anything it was no wonder they hadn't responded to any of his messages. At first, he had been worried that Hinata was completely ignoring him since confessing how he really felt about her, however seeing the NO SERVICE on his cell still didn't calm his nerves. Most likely when he arrived at the camp, she was going to reject him.
But can you blame her? Not only were you a coward and waited too damn long to tell her anything, but I'm also sure it doesn't look good on your resume that you've slept with two other girls. I'm sure that's sure to impress Hinata a lot!
Kiba sighed and shook his head.
No. He knew that that kind of thing wouldn't worry her. She had matured greatly over the years and most likely if she was considering him as boyfriend material, his past flings wouldn't bother her. It was slim, but there was still a chance that maybe . . . just maybe he still had a shot with her.
Kiba slowed the truck down upon seeing his next turn. Thankfully the sky was clear and the moon was full, making it easier to see the road signs and if there was any wildlife lurking in the ditches, he would be able to see them more clearly. The truck started to shake on the bumpy, icy road; he had to make sure his coffee mug was closed tight so it wouldn't spill all over the seat. Glancing in the rearview mirror, he could see another five vehicles turning on the road he was on. He sighed again and was not looking forward to the rush hour traffic that would be in the parking lot.
Best to park as far away as possible, I'm sure the main lot will already be full by the time I get there.
Biting his lip, he tried to think of what he was going to say to Hinata if he saw her in the parking lot or even at supper. Did he play it off cool and act as if he had never said anything? Or would he perhaps just act normal around her in the public eye until they had a chance to talk in private?
For five years he had kept his mouth shut about how he felt about her. At first, he had tried to ignore it; brush it off to the side and try to convince himself that he didn't have any feelings for her. However, as time went on and he tried to date other women, he soon realized that what he felt was not just some spur of the moment thing. He did deeply care about her and wanted Hinata to be more than just a friend to him. The difficult part had been how to approach her about it, especially when he knew damn well that Naruto was starting to have feelings for her too.
He had never said anything because it was clearer than water how much Hinata cared for Naruto, and while he was mad at himself for not saying anything, he was even madder at himself for not pushing either of them to start dating. Hinata was scared of being rejected since it seemed Naruto was still head over heels in love with Sakura, but meanwhile Naruto had confided in him once that he only saw Hinata as a friend; apparently, he wasn't good enough for her. So many scenarios ran through his head of what he could have done to help them both. He could have pressed Naruto into asking Hinata out, or he could have told Hinata to take the higher ground and be the one to invite Naruto on a date. However, he had said nothing.
He had seen them struggling; not being able to communicate with the other on how they felt. It had been almost painful to see and watch . . . but deep down perhaps it was what he wanted.
Kiba let out a frustrated sigh.
Perhaps I never wanted them to ever get together. I silently sabotaged them by keeping my mouth shut and hoping one day I could make my move. A lot of good that sure did me in the end. After Hinata confessed her feelings to Naruto and she was rejected, I so badly wanted to ask her out . . . but I couldn't. I knew it wasn't the right thing to do. I half hoped she would forget about him and then I could finally let her know how I felt. But . . . every time we would meet up, she would ask about Naruto and then I couldn't say the words anymore.
Two years ago he had tried to move on by getting into a sexual relationship with the housekeeper, Keiko. At first, that's all it had been was sleeping together any chance they got, however for him it started to develop into something more. He had genuinely felt something for her and even tried to communicate with her if she felt the same way. Her response, on the other hand, had been vague, and that should have been a sign that it was never going to work out.
And sure enough a year later she revealed that she was getting married and that they had to stop their sexual encounters. At first he had been mad at her for leading him on, but on the other hand, what had he expected was going to happen? It didn't take him long to get over Keiko, but sure enough, he then was once again pining for Hinata.
The night he had slept with Naomi had been such a terrible mess that just thinking about the situation made his head hurt. He knew the rumors about her and the one night stands that she loved to have with the other trades. That night at the retirement party, in his drunken mind it was the perfect set up to fulfill a fantasy he had been thinking about for years. And when the opportunity had presented itself to him, there was no way in hell he was going to say no. She was using him and he was using her, it was all fair play that night. However, what he hadn't counted on was letting Hinata's name slip past his lips in the middle of it all. The way Naomi had glared at him, smacked him across the face before retreating into the bathroom and then screaming at him to leave.
Truth be told, he never wanted to tell Hinata about his one night stand with the Suna Scaffolding Project Manager, but it was ten times better for her to hear it from him than for Naomi to tell her instead.
His thoughts were interrupted by the bright lights from the camp that were shining in the distance. Sure enough, he could already tell that the main parking lot was full and that he was going to have to park in the other one. Letting out another sigh, he followed the convoy of vehicles into the far lot and found a spot at the very end. Shifting the vehicle into park, Kiba decided to chill for a minute and sipped on his coffee as he watched the other vehicles come rolling in. He tried to keep his eye out for other Hyuuga Electric vehicles, but they all seemed to be parked already.
Well . . . at least that means I won't be seeing Hinata in the parking lot. Maybe I'll just grab a sandwich from the lunchroom and head straight to my bedroom. I could use a hot shower and a long sleep after that fricken drive.
When it seemed like the mad rush of vehicles was over, Kiba grabbed his bag from the back and hopped out of the vehicle. As his boots hit the ground and he slammed the truck door behind him, he didn't immediately start walking towards the camp. Instead, he let out another sigh and leaned his back against the truck. Since his vehicle was the last one in the lineup, there was no one parked on the driver's side; giving him a clear view of the forest that surrounded the camp. His head turned slightly at the sound of another truck door slamming a few car lengths over, but he paid it no mind as he turned his view back up to the moon above.
He wasn't sure how long he stood there for; his mind going in circles from the previous thoughts he had had, but no solution seemed to have formed. Perhaps it was best not to think about it too much. The ball was currently in Hinata's court; whether she gently let him down that they were only going to be friends, or perhaps she was over Naruto and wanted to try a relationship with him. Regardless, there was nothing he could do about it and it was best just to stop thinking about it and head back to camp.
As Kiba adjusted his backpack, he heard the sound of soft voices coming from behind him.
Strange . . . I thought I was the only one out here still. I haven't heard any trucks come in or vehicle doors slamming . . .
Curiosity getting the better of him, he slowly walked around his truck and cringed at the crunching sound his feet were making in the snow. Biting his lip in frustration he continued to walk slowly between the rows of vehicles to where he thought he heard the voices come from. Suddenly, his gut told him that this was a bad idea and that he needed to stop what he was doing. Kiba paused for a moment; debating if perhaps it was better to just turn around and head back to camp in a different direction. Just as he was contemplating what to do, a faint familiar voice reached his ears. His eyes widened and he took five more steps towards the other Hyuuga Electric truck that had been parked less than ten feet away from him.
At first, he saw the back of Naruto's head and wanted to call out to his co-worker to ask what the hell he was doing out here in the cold. However, the words he was going to say died in his throat when he finally got the full view of what was going on. Hinata was pressed against the driver's side door; her eyes shut, hands fisted on the front of Naruto's coat while she kissed him with a passion that he had never seen before. The blonde lead hand had his arms wrapped tightly around her, his eyes were closed too and he was kissing her back with just as much passion.
No . . . no no no no no! Stop it! Stop kissing her like that!
A mixture of emotions swept over him like a huge tidal wave and he wasn't prepared for at all what he was currently witnessing. Before he could stop himself or even consider backing away slowly before the couple noticed, their names slipped past his lips.
The two of them froze.
Both of their eyes flashed open and their heads quickly turned to look at him. The two of them were shocked to see him standing there; their breaths coming out in heavy pants as they stared at him. Seeing the two of them together like that made him feel angry at first. His whole body started to shake and he was pretty sure Hinata could tell by the way she glanced down at his trembling hand. While Hinata looked guilty and could only whisper his name, Naruto, on the other hand, gave him a more perplexed look. For a split second he looked guilty as well, however that quickly changed to assertive and calm; as if he was silently telling him that 'yes we are together now'.
His mouth opened and closed multiple times.
At first, he wanted to be angry with them. Kiba wanted nothing more than to start yelling and let out the frustration he was feeling. However, what could he possibly say to them?
You knew this was going to be a possibility when you returned to site. You knew how they felt about each other. So right now . . . you don't even have a right to be mad at them in the first place . . . but god damn it! I didn't want to see him kissing her like that!
He felt his anger fading, but instead, now he was starting to feel sad and embarrassed for interrupting them in the first place. Just as it looked like Hinata was about to say something, Kiba gripped his backpack tightly, spun around as fast as he could and briskly walked away from them. He took long strides in an attempt to get away from them as fast as humanly possible. Before he knew it, his body started to move on its own accord and he was sprinting back towards the camp. His boots crunched loudly in the snow and he was running so hard the cold air almost hurt every time he breathed in.
Suddenly he decided he didn't want to go inside just yet; the thought of being surrounded by other people just made him feel physically sick. As he ran through the main parking lot, he ducked in behind two welding trucks and stopped so he could catch his breath. He threw his backpack down on the ground in pure frustration and wanting nothing more than to let out a yell out at the top of his lungs.
Perhaps what irked him the most was that he hadn't been gone for even five days and the two of them were already kissing each other. Had Naruto forced himself on her? Or had it been Hinata who took the initiative and kissed him first? Or had they gotten even further and they were now sleeping with each other too? That thought alone was enough to make him want to hurl.
Suddenly the sound of someone running snapped him out of his inner debate and whipped around to see who had followed after him.
If that son of a bitch followed me to try and explain things I'm going to punch him in the fucking face . . .
The anger he felt disappeared quickly when he saw it wasn't Naruto that had come running after him, but Hinata. She was looking at him with a worried expression before she hunched over for a moment to catch her breath.
"I-I didn't expect you to run away like that. Kiba, I'm sorry you had to . . ."
"No! God damn it, don't do that! Don't apologize!" The words came out of his mouth almost like a whispered angry growl. He turned around so that he couldn't see the pitiful look she was giving him. "You have nothing to be sorry for! Hell, he doesn't have anything to be sorry for either!"
I'm the one who needs to apologize. I never should have told her how I felt . . . I should have just kept my fucking mouth shut and not say a god damn word! I should have just silently walked away after seeing them like that . . .
Kiba kept his back facing her; the last thing he wanted her to see was the vulnerable look that was plastered all over his face.
"If anything, the only one who should be sorry here is me. I shouldn't have crept up on you guys like that; curiosity got the better of me because I thought I was alone in that parking lot." His hand came up to his face, covering his eyes and suddenly his mouth just started spilling out all that was bottled up inside of him. "I'm sorry I wasn't that great of a friend! I knew about the misunderstandings and miscommunication that was going on between you two; just one conversation with either of you it would have been fixed! The two of you could have started dating a long time ago if I hadn't been so selfish! Part of me hoped that maybe, just maybe you would look at me instead of him! Even though I knew that wasn't going to happen! I knew you would never be mine . . . which is why I shouldn't have told you how I felt! I should have just . . ."
Two arms suddenly wrapped around him, holding him in a tight hug that almost squeezed the breath out of him. Kiba dropped the hand that was covering his face and tried to turn around to look at her, but Hinata kept him in that tight embrace. She was silent for the most part, the only sounds around him that he could hear was her deep breathing and the faint chatter of people that were at the smoke pit. The cold air tingled his face and hands; the backpack he had been carrying lay forgotten on the ground. As the two of them stood there, his once pounding heart was now back down to its normal beat and his mind wasn't racing as it had been a few minutes ago.
Feeling calmer, Kiba took a deep breath and placed his hands on top of Hinata's. A question that had been burning in the back of his mind wanted to be answered, however, he was scared to say the words. However . . . he already knew what the answer was going to be . . .
"Did you . . . at any time . . . did you ever see me as more than a friend?" His voice was strained and cracked as he asked the question. "Just tell me the truth, Hinata. Don't sugar coat it or word it in a way that I will find misleading . . . just be honest like you always are."
If I'm going to get over her . . . I need to hear the words from her mouth that I stand no chance in hell with her.
Kiba felt Hinata's arms finally loosen around him; her hands then lightly grasping the sleeve of his jacket, turning him around to face her.
A part of him didn't want to look at her and at first, he thought about looking down at the ground. The anxiety and fear he was feeling was almost overwhelming, especially with the determined look that Hinata had on her face. Kiba knew what was about to be said and he tried to mentally prepare himself for the rejection that was coming his way.
"Kiba . . . I'm sorry to say that I have never, nor will I ever see you as anything more than a friend."
The soft words she spoke pierced through him; like a knife being plunged right into his chest. However, there was a strange feeling as well. While it was painful to hear those words from her lips, there was also a feeling of relief that it was finally over and he no longer had to wonder if there would ever be anything more between them.
"After you to me how you felt, I want you to know that I thought long and hard about it. I had to take a hard, long look at myself and see if there was at any point I ever saw you in a romantic way. However, I came to the conclusion that . . . I do love you, Kiba but not in a passionate way. Perhaps if things didn't turn out the way they did between Naruto and I . . . maybe, just maybe, I would have had different feelings towards you. But as it stands now, the one I love the most is Naruto."
There were unshed tears in her pale violet eyes and he almost felt guilty for being the cause of those tears. Her hands reached up and grasped the front of his coat.
"You will always be my best friend."
It almost felt like his heart was breaking, yet repairing itself at the same time; it was a strange phenomenon. His arms flung around the woman in front of him and he pulled her in for a tight embrace. He held his breath for a moment; terrified that Hinata would push him away. Kiba almost let out a choking sound when he felt her arms wrap around him; his arms squeezing her tighter.
I may have lost her as my love interest . . . but thank god she's still my best friend . . .
How long they stayed embracing each other, he wasn't too sure. However, at some point, he did notice that his hands were starting to shake and he had lost feeling in his nose from the night cold.
Slowly pulling out of the hug, he looked down at her with a smile and cleared his throat. "Alright! Now that we have that mess out of the way . . . I need details!"
Suddenly that overprotectiveness he had always had over Hinata came swooping down like a hawk narrowing in on its prey. It wasn't that he was completely over her yet; that was going to take a little bit of time for him to wrap his head fully around. But at this moment, right here and now, she was his best friend/little sister, and he needed to make sure that the man she had fallen for was treating her right.
A huge blush spread across Hinata's already red cheeks and she shyly told him what had transpired since he had last been on site. He listened carefully, being sure not to interrupt her until she had fully finished her story. Kiba tried to keep a straight, stern face as any protective big brother would, but inwardly he was smiling; happy that finally the two of them were together. Her crimson cheeks turned even redder when she told him that tonight was the first time the two of them had shared a kiss.
Hinata's eyes were downward and she was playing with the ends of her hair; a sign that she was embarrassed. He kept his stern face on and placed his hands on his hips. Kiba knew how some of the guys behaved up here and could sometimes be the most disgusting pigs you had ever seen; granted he knew Naruto for sure didn't fall into that category, but he still needed to be sure that the guy wasn't doing anything inappropriate either.
"Is that all you two have done? Just kiss? He hasn't forced himself on you or dragged you back to his room against your will right?"
While her face did light up brighter than a red Christmas bulb, her expression was stern when she responded to his statement. "Kiba! You know him better than that!"
He couldn't help but laugh at the way she immediately defended her new boyfriend. "Haha! I know, I know! I was only half-joking when I asked. Just wanted to double-check is all, I didn't mean to offend him or anything along those lines."
Hinata gave him a mock annoyed look while he leaned down and picked up his snow-covered bag off the ground. Brushing the white winter off his backpack, he looked back at her with a serious face.
"All joking aside though, if he says or does anything to upset you, don't hesitate to let me know and I'll give him a 'talking' to."
Hinata frowned. "Kiba you know he's not like that. Besides I don't need you or Neji to be so overprotective of me."
Kiba shrugged. "It's a big brother thing, deal with it."
This time she smiled and let out a small giggle. Then suddenly her face fell and she looked at him with a worried expression. "So . . . is everything okay between us? I'm not going to lie that it does feel a little awkward but . . ."
Kiba let out a sigh. "Yeah, I know . . . but I think if we give it time, things will go back to the way they were. Again, I'm sorry for saying anything. I knew there was no chance in hell, yet I still for some reason felt the need to tell you."
Hinata frowned once again. "I suppose. But . . . how would you have felt if you hadn't said anything, and then Naruto and I still got together? Would you have had any regrets?"
He tilted his head back and looked up at the starry night sky.
When he had first come to terms with his feelings for Hinata, he had at first vowed never to say anything to her. However, as the years went by the possibility that he could have a chance with her seemed more probable than before. It almost felt like he had more than enough time to tell her, but the moment she had arrived on site everything had changed. The way he had seen her and Naruto talking during the safety meeting, the way he had looked at her and her at him . . . it was over. It was clear as daylight the sparks that were happening between the two and he had made a mental note that saying something to her was going to be redundant. But then after the safety meeting, seeing her face to face and being so close to her, his deepest desires came rushing forward; before he could stop himself he had embraced her in a tight hug that of course would have left her baffled.
However what would have occurred if none of that had ever happened? What if a year prior, Naruto had gotten his shit together and asked Hinata out? Would he have bothered to say anything to her? Would he have felt the need to let her know?
Kiba let out the breath he was holding and slanted his head towards at Hinata with a sad look. "No. If you and Naruto had gotten together sooner, then I wouldn't have said a word. I would have just silently let it go and only wished you both the best. The only way I could see myself saying anything in other situations would be if someone other than Naruto had asked you out. Like that guy in the accounting department that you mentioned was flirting with you; if he had asked you out then I definitely would have said something. But when it comes to Naruto . . . I know that I would lose instantly."
Hinata was now looking at him with a sad expression, and so he turned his gaze back up to the sky.
"It is what it is, Hinata. Don't worry about me though; I am genuinely happy for you and Naruto. I'll find someone eventually to call my girl and then both you and Shino can be all overprotective of me. I'll need you guys to make sure she's the right one for me and that I'm not blinded by the love fog." He turned to smile at her. "Anyways! We should probably head inside! I don't know about you, but I'm starting to lose feeling in my fingers."
She agreed, and the two of them walked towards the camp side by side. Hinata asked about his days off and how his family was doing as they took their boots off in the boot room. At this point, the area was dead, except for the odd straggler coming in from the smoke pit and heading to the dining hall. Kiba walked up to one of the many check-in kiosks that were along the main hallway and took his room off hold; letting the camp know that he was back on site and in his room again.
"Did you want to have supper together?" Hinata asked him with a little hesitation in her voice.
Kiba frowned, "Aren't you going to with Naruto?"
Hinata shook her head. "No, he told me that tonight he was eating with his parents."
"Ah that's right, it is Monday night after all."
At first, he felt like declining her offer, but the way she was looking at him made it hard for him to say no. He smiled and nodded his head; hanging his bag up on one of the hooks and taking his coat off before walking into the dining hall with Hinata by his side.
With his stomach full and his body warmed up from the cold, Kiba bid Hinata goodnight and made his way down the south hallway towards his room. He stretched his arms above his head and couldn't wait until he could finally have a hot shower before falling into bed. It had been an extremely long day and he wanted nothing more than to sleep the night away.
As he walked down the hallway, a sudden chill went up his spine as he recognized the woman that was sitting on the couch right beside his wing door. Kiba immediately stopped and stared at Naomi. She hadn't noticed him yet and seemed to be in a deep conversation on her phone.
Of course . . . with how well this evening is going, I should have guessed that this was going to happen! Frick me, it's a good thing I don't buy lottery tickets with the way my luck has been going lately.
Part of him wanted to run away; take himself back down the hallway towards the gaming room and sleep on one of the couches there for the night. The thought was so tempting that he almost sprinted away from the brunette that was sitting on the couch in front of him. However, the more logical side of his brain chimed, which made him stop.
You might as well settle this now. The situation with Hinata has been dealt with . . . now it's time to take this one by the horns and put it to rest. And then that should have all of your affairs dealt with! Let's just hope she doesn't slap me this time . . .
Sighing in defeat, Kiba took ten steps towards his one-night stand and cleared his throat so that she would know he was there. Naomi's head shot up and she looked at him with wide green eyes. He was almost half expecting her to give him an angry look and storm off. However, none of that happened. Instead, she turned her head a bit to the side to finish up her conversation on the phone.
"Hey sweetheart, unfortunately, I have to go. I just ran into someone that I need to talk to and it can't wait" There was a pause as the person on the other line responded and it made Naomi giggle. "I will for sure call you when I get back to my room. Love you too. Bye."
He watched as she put her phone away into her pocket and she stood up to face him properly. Kiba almost wanted to comment, however, Naomi beat him to the punch.
"That was just my husband, I was wishing him goodnight."
All color drained from Kiba's face and he let out a groan of disappointment; his hand slapping across his face and covering his eyes.
God damn it . . . I fricken slept with a married woman!? That's it! I've had it world! Just open up a bottomless pit below my feet and take me now!
"Kiba, don't beat yourself up about it. I never told anyone up here that I was married. Long story short, both my husband and I would sleep around while we are away at work. However recently I've realized that that sort of behavior is not good for a marriage. Right now, we've both come to the conclusion to not do it anymore and are slowly going to work it out.
"I honestly didn't know this was where your room was, however, I'm glad that I was able to run into you. I wanted to talk to you about that night we slept together."
He peaked through his fingers to look at her. Her face was serious, however, there was a hint of sadness in her expression too. Kiba pulled his hand away, "Yeah well . . . while it's something I really don't want to talk about, I know we do need to clean the air between us; especially if we are going to continue to work together on the same site."
Naomi nodded. "Please let me go first then. I'm sorry that I took advantage of you that night. I knew you were drunk and that there was no way you would have been able to resist me; especially since I saw you staring at me at the bar. My night had not gone as well as I had hoped and by that point, I was very frustrated. I shouldn't have done that. So I hope you can accept my apology."
Kiba sighed. "I'm sorry as well. The only reason I was interested in you is because you looked like the woman I've had my eyes on for a while. I was just wanting to play out a fantasy, but it wasn't my intention to call out her name like that. Even though I was drunk I could have said no too, but I didn't; I gave in to the temptation as soon as it presented itself. I accept your apology if you can accept mine."
He stuck out his hand, hoping they could shake on it and never bring it up again.
Surprisingly, Naomi smiled and grasped his hand in a firm handshake.
"Deal. I do hope that things work out between you and Hinata. Unfortunately, I ran into her one day and let it slip that you and I had been together. I was still mad and I wanted to cause a stir between you too. I'm very sorry about that."
He released her hand gently and gave her a stern look. "I had a feeling that might happen, so I told her as soon as possible. She already knew before you even said anything to her. However, she and I aren't meant to be together."
Naomi frowned. "Oh? I take it she's upset with you then?"
Kiba shook his head and started walking towards his wing, "No, it's Naruto that she's been in love with for years and I never stood a chance. The two of them are together so, I would appreciate it if you left them alone."
At first, it looked like she was going to argue with him, and that made him very curious. However, it seemed like she changed her mind and instead nodded her head in agreement.
"I promise that I won't interfere or anything along those lines. Oh, and just so you know I've approved the scaffolding work orders on Pad 12. My guys have been there since Saturday."
To say that he was surprised was an understatement. He tried to keep his face calm and collective as a sense of relief swept over him that work was able to progress normally now. In the last five days, he had felt extremely guilty that it was his fault that the scaffolders were being held back on Pad 12.
"Thank you for that; I greatly appreciate it." Kiba let out a tired sigh and looked down at his watch. "Not to be rude, but I think now that we've both said our little speeches, it's time that I part and head to bed.
Naomi nodded and bid him goodnight before turning around to walk down the main hallway. Kiba watched her for a moment before swiping his card and opening the door.
Passing by the storage and laundry room, Kiba tried to walk as fast as he could towards his room. Mentally he was done for the night and just wanted to go to bed; heck he was very much considering skipping the shower. Finally reaching his camp room, he swiped his card once again so he could enter inside.
It was cold and dark from him being gone for five days. Tossing his backpack on the bed, he stepped into the Jack & Jill bathroom to turn on the shower and then over to the thermostat to turn the heat on. Letting out a heavy sigh, he collapsed on his bed and stared up at the ceiling. Kiba laid there for a few minutes, his mind replaying all that had happened today.
It's finally over. . .
The mask that he had put on in the parking lot slowly came off and he was suddenly overwhelmed with an array of emotions. He let it fully sink in that Hinata had rejected him and once again he was completely alone. His throat clenched as he held back a sob; hands forming into fists before he brought his forearms up to cover his eyes. He couldn't remember the last time he had cried, perhaps when he was a young boy and one of his grandparents had passed away. Kiba always made sure not to show weakness in front of others; always putting up a strong front and mocking guys who cried in public. He didn't want to cry, however, the hurt and sadness that he was feeling just would not stay locked up. Silent sobs wracked his body as he gave into his emotions while lying there in the dark. He gritted his teeth and let the tears flow from his eyes, finally letting go of the woman he had fallen in love with.
To Be Continued . . .
A huge thanks to those who are reading this! Leave a review if you like and stay tuned for the next chapter!