Through the hallway, down the stairs, out the door.

1,2,3...

Past the swing, past the shops, past the gates.

4,5,6...

Past the trees, over the dirt, through the bushes.

7,8,9...

Here.

10.

**********

It was mid-day, but one would have never been able to tell. The sky was a mass of pure gray, painting the usually colorful Konoha with undertones of melancholic colorlessness. The village looked so.. unhappy.

-Kind of like.. my eyes..

Hinata made her way through the village, on an errand. It was the death day of Neji's father, she had been able to gather this with the help of her underdeveloped Byakugan, and a bit of uncharacteristic snooping on her part.

She felt bad for Neji, pitied him even, and wanted to make a small gesture, even if it went entirely unnoticed. She felt it was the least she could do.

She arrived at the small flower shop. Ino was working there.

"Hey Hinata! Don't see you around here much!" Ino said cheerfully. She always tried her best to be nice to the shy Hyuuga girl.

"H-hello, Ino-san." Hinata said quietly. She knew she should have said something more, maybe start a conversation. But she couldn't even make eyecontact with the other.

She looked around, making as little noise as possible. She felt like everyone was watching her, and she tried to make herself invisible and inaudiable.

"Are you looking for anything particular? A certain occasion maybe? Some flowers are used especially for some things." Ino said, coming out from behind the counter to help her customer.

"U-um.. I'm looking for something to.. pay respects." Ino had to cup her hand to her ear to hear the white eyed girl.

"Pay respects? You mean to someone who has passed away?" Hinata nodded shyly.

"Oh I'm sorry Hinata-chan, was it someone close to you?" Hinata shook her head.

"N..no, they... have been gone awhile." She was almost inaudiable.

Ino sighed, she just didn't understand why people were shy.

"How much are you looking to spend?"

"I have.. plenty of money, Ino-san." Hinata whispered.

"Alright then!" She headed over to some white roses and picked out ten, then some more flowers to ornament and accent. For some reason, all of the flowers were white. She just couldn't find herself choosing any color for the Hyuuga girl. It must have been her eyes.

"Here you go Hinata, how does this look?" Ino smiled.

"A-arigato.. Ino-san." Ino took the flowers and wrapped the stems together, then rang up the cash register. Hinata payed, took the flowers with a small bow, and headed off.

She was approaching a small stone of memorials made solely for Hyuuga family members. She was unhappy to see Neji already standing there.

The cold boy saw Hinata approaching, though his back was turned. He grit his teeth, but said nothing.

She too said nothing, but walked up beside him, still keeping a good distance from him, and knelt, placing the flowers upon the small altar-like stone.

"No one in the main house has died on this day." He snorted.

"..H-hai.." Hinata said quietly.

"THen what are those for, Hinata-sama?" Neji's voice was caustic but restrained. He said her name with mild mockery, and it stung.

"..Hyuuga Hizashi." She said, almost silently.

Neji scowled deeply, and he said nothing.

Hinata put her hands together and said a quiet prayer for Hizashi-san's soul.

"..Why..?" Neji growled, his fists clenched. Even Hinata, who was not very in tune with her nin skills, could feel his chakra going absolutely berserk.

"B-because... He did.. an adimrable thing..." -Kind of like Naruto-kun, she added mentally.

Neji's chakra softened, but his fists remained clenched. There was silence between the two white-eyed children, both lost and cold in their own ways.

More footsteps. The two both saw Hyuuga Hiyashi, Hinata's father, approaching. Hinata suddenly wanted to run. She swallowed hard, stood shakily.

"E-excuse me.. I need to be go-"

"Hinata. What are you doing here?"

"P-paying my respects, Otou-sama..."

Hiyashi wanted to lash out at his daughter, say something or do something to hurt her. Hinata had always been the greatest source of dissapointment in his life. When his wife had brought her into the world, it had been the happiest day of his life. She had been so perfect, so promising to become a great member of the Hyuuga house.

But all of his dreams had come tumbling down. Certainly, Hanabi had revived those thoughts, she was very promising. But... The sheer anger, the displeasure, the weakness of his firstborn still enraged him.

Now was not the time for such thoughts. He had come here to remember his brother.

He put a hand on Neji's shoulder. The child was still so stoic, so good at hiding his greif.

Neji jerked away as politely as possible.

Hinata left carefully, cautiously, slowly, as though her father were some volatile chemical, and if one moved too much or was too loud around it, it would explode.

She headed into the woods, to a small clearing with some training instruments, to think.

Hiyashi opened his mouth to say something, but Neji really didn't want to hear it. He began walking away swiftly, before the other would speak. He headed towards his training area, he needed to let off some steam.

He saw Hinata huddled beside one of the logs, knees pulled to her chest and arms around her legs, forehead resting on her knees.

A pang of something.. sympathy, maybe, went through his heart, but only for a second. It was replaced but his anger and sorrow.

"Hinata-sama."

Her head snapped up. "Neji-niisan.."

"Fight me."

************************

^-^ Hehehehe

Humm I dunno Hinata and Neji are such complex characters, they are difficult to portray =/...

Im not sure how far this will go.. maybe I won't even make it ROMANCE. If you think I should, say so! Hell, I'm up for anything. They can become friends, or I can make it a lemon. OR, hey, I can have Neji kill Hinata -_-;. ^_^; Just tell me what you think!

Read and Review if you see fit pwease~!