A/N: For my journal's fic meme, but it went over the required word count. XP I couldn't stop it, what can I say?

Juno's request. Title was to be "On My Mind" and needed line was "I'd break my back for a chance." Pairing: Hinata/Sakura. Also, the end will make more sense if you've read about Neji's birds, but it doesn't contain any actual spoilers.



"On My Mind"



Sakura has very nice hair, even with the chop job she did on it during the chuunin exam. It's thick and glossy and a lovely color. Hinata would break her back for a chance to brush it sometime.

Hinata's own hair isn't all that great. It's a bit rough and gnarls up whenever she lets it get too long. Not like Neji's, which is flower-scented ebon silk and ink, but rough and short and full of split ends. Another way she is inferior. What else is new?

She really likes Sakura's hair, though.

Shh. Sakura is sleeping.

Don't wake her up.

Hinata threads her chapped fingers through Sakura's hair, her other hand pressing down on the scraps of Naruto's jacket that cover Sakura's wound. Sakura is so beautiful as she writhes beneath Hinata, moaning and sweating.

Moaning with pain. Sweating because the garrote wire that sliced through her was poisoned.

So pretty.

Hinata is so impressed by Sakura's perfect skin. No imperfections mar it, not even slightly. Even her wound is clean and neat, right through her left breast in a perfect pinhole. Hinata had to cut open her shirt to even find it, and can see Sakura's breast now, smooth and soft and perfect. She runs her hand over it distractedly. Sakura isn't even conscious to notice.

Such a lot of blood from such a little wound . . . something in the poison must be keeping it from clotting.

Practically speaking, Hinata knows that she should either use a tourniquet above the wound or try to bleed the poison out. Only, the first would require tying off Sakura's neck and the second she had never learned how to do properly. Which left only . . .

Hinata leans over and presses her mouth to Sakura's wound, hoping simultaneously to suck a decent amount of the poison out and that she does not have any open cuts in her mouth.

She does not want any of this poison in her.

Hinata spits blood to the side and goes back down quickly. Sakura's skin tastes nice and smells like a gentle, spicy perfume. Hinata wonders, vaguely, when Naruto and Sasuke and Kiba and Shino will be back. Vaguely.

Sakura has very nice hair. Hinata pets it with one hand, still sucking at the wound. Sakura is still unconscious, but she moans again. This time it is not in pain.

"You're so pretty," she murmurs. "So pretty. I like you so much. I want to be pretty like you. Do you think Naruto would like me if I was this pretty? I think he might, but not as much as he likes you, I guess."

She smiles a little vacantly, shivering slightly. It is quite cold.

A medical nin might mention that she is in shock, but Hinata herself is too out of it to decipher her own symptoms.

"Very pretty, Sakura," she says sweetly, poisoned blood dripping from her mouth. "Do you think the boys are still alive . . .?"

Sakura is feverish. Delirious. When she looks up, she does not see Hinata. She sees dark hair, androgynous face, porcelain- doll skin.

"Sasuke-kun?" she whimpers. "Sasuke-kun . . ."

"Better not move, Sakura-chan," Hinata advises sweetly, brushing the other girl's hair off her forehead.

"Sa-Sasuke-kun," Sakura stammers weakly, grasping for Hinata's hand. "A-are you okay . . .?"

"Everyone is fine," Hinata lies, smiling down at her and squeezing her hand. Of course, Sakura is this close to dying and Naruto and the real Sasuke were both half-mad with bloodlust when they saw her hurt, and Kiba and Akamaru have both already been wounded and Shino has been poisoned with the same elixir that Sakura has only slightly less seriously.

But Hinata lies, because Hinata is going to be a doctor someday. And the very best doctors know when to lie.

"Promise me you won't die, Sakura," Hinata says. "You won't be the only one to leave us."

"O-Okay, Sasuke-kun," Sakura whispers, wincing slightly as a twinge of pain flashes across her chest. "I promise."

Hinata gives her a small, perfect smile. "That's my girl," she says in a proud voice. She leans down again and gently kisses Sakura's forehead.

Sakura smiles too. "Right," she replies in a small, content voice, her eyes fluttering shut again.

Shh. Sakura is sleeping.

Hinata counts the birds in the trees.

There are eight, and she sees them all.



* fin *



. : pretty thing : .