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Hinata arose from her bed as the morning light shone through her window. She yawned and gave a stretch. Glancing at her calendar on the wall, she confirmed what she already knew. October Tenth. The day of the Kyuubi Festival... and Naruto’s birthday.
She had already picked out a furisode to wear. She wanted to look nice... so Naruto would notice her.
Getting dressed for the day, Hinata left the Hyuuga compound and headed for Training Ground Eleven.
Chapter 1: Bustling
As Hinata traversed the streets of Konohagakure, she could not help but marvel at all the activity. People were bustling about everywhere, rushing to get things ready for the Kyuubi Festival. Vendors were setting up stalls and games, the centerpiece for the festival was being hurriedly constructed, and stores were filled with last-minute shoppers.
The Kyuubi Festival... It was on this day today thirteen years ago that the nine-tailed demon fox, Kyuubi no Kitsune, attacked Konoha, and the Fourth Hokage was forced to sacrifice his life to seal it. And he ended up sealing it in Naruto...
Chapter 2: Advisory
As usual, Hinata was the last to arrive at Training Ground Eleven. But wait, no she wasn’t... Anko-sensei and Kyan-kun were there, but where was Naruto-kun?
“Um... where’s Naruto-kun?” the Hyuuga heiress asked her teammate and sensei.
Kyan gave Hinata a bored look, then turned to Anko and gave her a nod.
“Naruto’s not coming today, maggot.” the purple-haired kunoichi informed her shy student.
“What? Why not, Anko-sensei?”
“What, you didn’t realize it? Naruto’s the container of the Kyuubi. You know what he endured eight years ago at the festival when he was five. He’s not coming out today. Too many painful memories.”
Hinata’s eye grew wide. “But it’s his birthday...”
“Oh, and that day is special for him? No one has ever celebrated Naruto’s birthday before. He’s never received a single birthday gift from anyone.”
Hinata stared down at the ground. “Then... What are we-“
“Isn’t it obvious, Hyuuga?” Kyan spoke up. “Naruto’s not coming out today. He’s at home. But maybe you can coax him out.”
“He seems to trust you, Hyuuga. If you go to him, you might be able to get him to come out and enjoy the festival. Or maybe not. Either way, it’s worth a shot, Hyuuga.”
Hinata turned to her sensei for guidance. Anko merely gave the Hyuuga heiress a smirk and a nod. Hinata nodded in response, turning around and heading back into town. She needed to see Naruto-kun...
Chapter 3: Errand
Hinata stopped by Chichan and Kuchan’s store to pick up something for Naruto. Luckily Chichan and Kuchan already had Naruto’s measurements, so they were able to make something. By the time they were done, it was already almost time for the festival. Hinata thanked Chichan and Kuchan and rushed to Naruto’s apartment. She’d make sure he enjoyed the festival...
Chapter 4: Fortress
Hinata finally reached Naruto's apartment. From the look of the place, it seemed like a cheap establishment. Knowing how the villagers felt about Naruto, it probably was hard for him to get. Then again, the Hokage probably got it for him.
Hinata stepped up to the door gave it a knock...... no answer.
"N-Naruto-kun? Are you there? I-It's me... Hinata..."
She almost hoped he wasn't there. It would have saved her from having to work up the courage to visit him.
Just as the Hyuuga heiress began to wonder if she should go, the doorknob turned, and the gateway to Naruto's fortress opened just a crack. Hinata was met with a blue eye gazing out at her.
"Hinata-chan? What are you doing here?" the object of her affections asked.
"Um... I-I heard you weren't going to the festival..."
"Yeah... I'm not going. But why do you ask?"
"So, um... I was wondering if I c-could come visit you here."
"Hinata, you should go enjoy the festival."
"But... I can't let you stay home all day, Naruto-kun. I even got you something." She held up the bag to show Naruto.
The blonde ninja sighed. "Fine. Come on in. But you can't stay long. I don't want you to miss the festival."
The door swung open all the way, beckoning Hinata into Naruto's fortress of solitude...