Ingravesco— I become heavier; I become burdensome; I become worse; I worsen.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.


Hinata isn't sure of herself.

Ironically, this is one of the few things she is sure of— even if only peripherally and without the depth of thought that somebody older would possess— that every mistake she makes, every time she fails, every time she contemplates just finally giving up, is brought about she lacks surety of self and the will to keep moving.

It's through no fault of her own because she truly wishes to try— to be better and to be enough. But in the heat of the moment, when her arms are trembling and she looks into her tutor's dissatisfied eyes— her father oft wears the same expression— she simply can't. She tries her best to get up every time, but when she sees that look, whatever she has left leaves her. In the face of such disdain, why wouldn't she feel empty? Why wouldn't she feel hopeless? Why wouldn't she feel like a waste?

(Why wouldn't she feel like nothing at all.)

Hyūga Hinata is unsure of herself. Unsure of her strength, unsure of her character, unsure of her worth, unsure each step of her day and all the things in between.

Then she turns to Uchiha Sasuke and her stress grows by orders of magnitude.

Out of all others in their class, Hinata is the only one who's had a conversation with him— not because she actively tries to approach him, but because she is the only one he talks to. Every day, he sits in the seat to her immediate left and offers her greetings. If he has questions he'll ask her in a quiet tone that, while lacking her obvious stutter, sounds every bit as downtrodden as she does. When the class departs for the day, he offers her farewells and assurances that they'll see each other 'next time' before taking his leave. It is a... pleasant addition to her everyday life.

And now he doesn't do even that much.

The problem is that she knows why. Hinata had been aware the very moment their routine had changed and she had seen. She could not bear to look him in the eyes and when he'd tried to speak to her— sounding so much smaller, but of course, she ignored it— she'd shrunk in on herself, her gaze straight downward. It wasn't until Iruka-sensei had informed the class that Ami wouldn't be returning to the Academy— in a solemn tone that hinted at what Hinata feared was the true reason she wouldn't return— and Hinata instinctively looked towards Sasuke, that she saw him.

For a moment, however brief, she felt as if she were looking into a mirror. And still, she could not bring herself to talk to him.

(Why is she such a coward?)

And now, two weeks later, she can see him steadily looking worse— and now, she can see that their conversations were helping him as much as they were her— so when the time comes for lunch she grabs the hem of his shirt in a jerky movement, trying her best not to draw attention, and when he doesn't move away she says the first thing to come to mind.

"I- I saw," she whispers.

Hinata flinches at the way he sags in his seat and when she meets his eyes— empty— she focuses instead on his forehead and has to force herself to stay the path.

"I was p-practicing with my Byakugan"— she's almost ashamed to admit to the fact— "and— w-well—"

As Hinata continues speaking, she watches as Sasuke slowly curls into himself and she fumbles for something to say— anything to make this situation better. Even now she still ruins everything and she stops, facing forwards.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, this time quieter than the last. "I won't— won't tell anyone."

Sasuke huffs at her side and she can see him in the corner of her eyes, staring forward. She flinches when he pats her hand where it still clings to his shirt.

"Not your fault," he mutters.

Neither looks at the other, sitting in silence until everybody has returned to the classroom.




The very next day, hidden in the shadows of the building during their lunch, Sasuke shows her his Sharingan. Nothing more than a brief flicker of red, but enough that she knows what it is.

And then he goes on to tell her that he hates his eyes.

He must see her confusion because he goes on to explain:

"The Sharingan isn't like the Byakugan," he starts. "The Byakugan is a tool and can be used to help as much as it can harm. The Sharingan is a weapon that's all it is. There's nothing to like about the Sharingan."

There, she decides that Sasuke isn't anything like her, so easily spitting on the legacy of his clan.

(All the same, she wishes she had the same strength.)