Author's Note – This fanfiction takes place somewhere after Chapter 237 of the manga, and before Chapter 238. With that said, expect some NASTY SPOILERS! ;;
Anyway, remember Episode 59 of the anime? When Naruto and Hinata have a little chat about his upcoming battle with Neji? I liked that short, sweet scene, despite lasting only for a few minutes. It spoke volumes to me about what Hinata could have felt, aside from some Kyuubi lusting. XDD Anyway, this fanfic focuses on what could have happened if they had that kind of conversation once again.
Thanks for reading! Hope you like what you'll be reading for a while.
Chapter One - Outside
Hyuuga Hinata had been staring at the hospital building for several minutes now. Her index fingers were habitually twiddling around each other, and her feet shifted from time to time. Her gaze, though locked on to the hospital, or rather, on a specific window of a room, would sometimes lose focus whenever she would hear some kind of noise from around her. Though she had only been there for a few minutes, her nervousness made it seem like forever.
Supposedly, she was here to visit Uzumaki Naruto, who had returned from his mission to retrieve the now missing-nin Uchiha Sasuke. He went with a team composed of Nara Shikamaru, Akimichi Chouji, Inuzuka Kiba, and her own cousin, Hyuuga Neji just to stop him from going over to the evil Orochimaru's hideout. It ended in failure, however, with the entire team ending up being hospitalized.
When she first found out that Naruto had been hospitalized, she immediately rushed over, her heart torn with worry and fear. When she finally got there, she found wrapped in bandages, from head to toe, and was unconscious. Accepting no visitors and was under care by the medical ninjas, she had no choice but to go home. As she did, she felt weak, and could barely walk. Her father even noticed this and asked what was wrong, but she replied with her usual tone, "It's…it's nothing."
Hinata could barely sleep that night.
She admitted it to herself a long time ago that she had an intense crush on Naruto that only grew stronger as time passed. For almost her entire life, she drew inspiration and strength from his constant displays of determination, courage, and his never-say-die attitude. Conisdered to be weak and a waste of effort to be trained by even her own clan; she had little self-esteem, and was known to be a quitter. At the Chuunin Exams, Neji even claimed that it would forever be her fate to be weak, and nothing would change that.
Yet she still sought to improve herself and become stronger, since she found a kind of similarity between her and Naruto. Naruto, too, was not entered into an ideal childhood, and his early days were that of rejection and of sadness. Yet, he still sought recognition and acceptance from his peers, and he never gave up in becoming who he was today. For his age, he was already quite the able Shinobi, but it was largely due to his perseverance to defy what fate seemed to have in store for him.
Naruto was a source of inspiration for Hinata now, who also sought to become better and improve herself. Now, her family and clan treated her warmly, and even Neji, who used to bear much hatred for her, spoke to her with respect and kinship.
She had so many things she wanted to say to him, had so many things she wanted to thank him for, but unfortunately for Hinata, she was very, very shy. Most of the time, she was quiet, and whenever she did have to speak, she talked in a very soft voice. She sometimes stuttered as well, misplacing her words before she could even speak them. She sometimes found it difficult to speak her opinions to someone else, even with her friends in her team, much less with Naruto. She was, at the strictest sense of the word, introverted.
But still, if it weren't for Naruto, none of the blessings Hinata had received would ever come to be. For everything he had done for her, even if he didn't have the slightest clue about it, she was extremely grateful to him.
So, here she was, standing in front of the hospital, waiting for whatever courage she had to build up inside her so that she could finally go inside and visit Naruto. A little while ago, Jiraiya, one of the legendary Sannin, climbed into Naruto's window via a giant frog, just when Hinata was about to finally go through the hospital's front gate. Seeing a huge amphibian staring at her made her quickly brisk away behind the nearest tree and waited for Jiraiya to leave. After a while, he did, leaving with a giant frog's footprints on the hospital grounds.
So here she was again, waiting.
"Mm…' she softly groaned, miffed at her own indecisiveness.
Sighing, she was about to turn around and leave to try another day when she bumped into someone. Hinata was knocked down by the sudden force.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" a voice said, and offered a hand to help Hinata up, "I wasn't looking, I was rushing…"
"N-no, it's alright," Hinata apologized, with a bow, "I-I wasn't looking."
"No, it's my…oh, aren't you Miss Hinata?"
Hinata looked at her companion, and found out that she had bumped into Shizune, the current Hokage's aide. Almost cringing, she instantly backed away and made another deep bow, apologizing right away.
Shizune was getting embarrassed with all the formality, her cheeks already flushing as Hinata made another apology. "P-please, there's no need…" she said, laughing nervously, "Anyway, it's good that I found you here. May I ask you a favor?"
Hinata just nodded, and said, "It's okay…I-I'm not doing anything."
Shizune clapped her hands in glee, and continued, "Great! You see, I have to go to the Hyuuga's, where you live, of course, to check up on Neji-kun's condition. But I've also got to do this errand, too, so, can I ask you to do it?"
Hinata again nodded in agreement. Shizune then reached into her pockets and took out a small box of medicine. She then handed it over to Hinata, who gently handled it with care. "Should I bring this to someone?" Hinata asked.
"Yes, he's a patient right now in the hospital. He's beaten up badly; it's a miracle that he survived," Shizune replied, with a hint of awe in her voice.
Hinata's heart skipped a beat. Though she wasn't entirely sure on who the patient was, she was already nervously thinking who could it was. And somehow, her gut feeling told her already, she just didn't want to believe it just yet.
"A…Akimichi Chouji-san?" Hinata guessed, her voice slightly shaking.
Shizune shook her head, "Nope, but it is true that he too suffered a great deal of injuries. But, luckily, he's okay too."
"K-Kiba-kun?" Hinata guessed again, the trembling in her voice increasing. Her range of choices was getting awfully slim.
Again, Shizune shook her head. "He's recuperating at his home right now. His sister's looking out for him now. Right now, to be honest, I'm a bit more worried about his dog, though."
"N-Nara Shikamaru-san?" Hinata guessed again. Even now her cheeks were burning madly.
"…he only got a sprained finger, seriously," Shizune replied, laughing uneasily, "but then again, maybe that's because out of the group, he's the only Chuunin. Maybe."
Hinata swallowed a large gulp of air. There was only one person who could be the patient right now, and just thinking about it was already making her so nervous.
"Huh? You already mentioned Shikamaru-kun," Shizune said, shrugging.
Hinata shook her head, and then said, finally, "N-Naruto-kun?"
"Bingo!" Shizune replied enthusiastically, with a wink, "That medicine, according to Tsunade-sama, is supposed to help him heal faster. Would you bring it to him? Thanks! Oops, I'm running late. Gotta go!"
Without even hearing what her reply was, Shizune already sped off, leaving a trail of dust behind her. Hinata was left there, simply speechless as she held the medicine box.
It was Naruto's medicine
She gulped, looking at it. It was in a small, black box, with a little sash around it to keep it tightly closed. Already, she could imagine Naruto's impish grin as he took it from her and said, "Thanks, Hinata!"
Hinata blushed, seeing him smile in her imagination. She smiled, despite her nervousness, and for once, she'd be doing something for him, even though it was a small task, at best. Besides, it had been quite a long time since they last saw each other, and given this opportunity, she had to go see him whether her nervousness stopped her or not.
Afterwards, she sighed in disappointment, though. If it weren't for this favor that she had to do, she was not sure if she would've gone to Naruto's anyway. She was still, and it would seem like it would always be, very, very nervous and shy to Naruto.
Breathing deeply, bracing herself for what could happen, she stepped inside the hospital.