Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and/or its characters.

Of Insects and Sunshine

"They call that taking a walk?" Shino said irately as he glared behind his glasses at Kiba and his dog, Akamaru.

"It's just great that we can be doing the things that we love to do." A white-eyed girl stated as she turned to face one of her companions. She had an unreadable look in her pale eyes.

"I hope that you find something too, Hinata." The bug boy told her as he collected more bugs from the tree in front of him. His statement shocked the girl, but then she understood.

"Hmm… I guess you're right" she said, a small smile still on her lips as she looked over her shoulder at him.

"Oh…so you do have something then?"

She smiled softly at him, her hands behind her back, "Hai." A butterfly then flew down to her. She lifted her hand from behind her back and it perched on her outstretched finger. "It's beautiful."

"Not as beautiful as you." The quiet boy said, his back still to her. He heard the girl behind him stiffen and the flutter of the butterfly leaving. He knew she was blushing. She never knew how to take a compliment.

"Shi..Shino-kun?" he heard. He refused to turn to look at her directly, his insects being his eyes.

Her face was flushed as her hair shaded her pearl eyes, but what was this? A small smile played on her lips. He had to smile, or rather smirk at that. Maybe there was hope. But as soon as the smile came, it went and her expression became unreadable for his insects. Silence fell between them, but that was what they were used to.

He heard the grass from far away crinkle from movement and his bugs informed him that Kiba and Akamaru would soon be back. The silence would be broken once they returned.

He almost sighed. He never had luck on his side. But at least it would release his from the suffocating silence that now hung in the air. Sure, he didn't think Hinata would hurt his feelings, she was too kind for that, but her refusal to say anything hurt worse than any wound would.

"Arigato." she whispered, but he heard her. He would always hear her, always see her, always know her, and always think of her. She came first to him. And if he was one to smile, he would, but that wasn't him.

If he were Uchiha Sasuke, he would have been able to sweep her off of her feet and make her only want him. His cool words and handsome features (that he would show without a thought) would mesmerize her. They would take long, comfortable walks through the park, sharing some small talk as they held hands and smiled at each other.

If he were Nara Shikamaru, he would be able to think of the perfect strategy to gain her love. His sharp mind and eyes would captivate her. They would hold intelligent conversations and gaze at the stars together.

If he were Inuzuka Kiba, he wouldn't have to worry about his feelings. He would tell her without hesitation. His outgoingness and sense of humor would entertain her. Her sweet giggles would fill the air whenever he was around. He would be able to comfort her, to make her feel better when her family put her down.

If he were Uzumaki Naruto, he would already have her heart.

But he was none of these people. He was just Shino. The bug boy. He did think that he looked relatively good, his intelligence was above average, and he did manage to make Hinata smile from time to time, but that didn't matter. As long as Uzumaki Naruto was involved, she would never be his.

He heard her footsteps behind him moving closer. He stood his ground and refused to turn around. He didn't like rejection. What happened next really surprised him.

He felt his cheeks warm up, praying to any and everyone that no one could and would see them. She was hugging him. HIM! The creepy bug guy. He was sure she would recoil once she heard the hum of his insects in his body as she rested her cheek against his back.

She didn't.

After a few seconds she let go and stepped back. "Gomen…" her voice was filled with remorse. She never wanted to hurt him. He was very close to her.

He smiled bitterly into the collar of his jacket. "Don't worry about it."

"Oi! You two! Why are you just standing there? It's our day off! Let's go do stuff!" Kiba shouted after he burst into the clearing. Akamaru yipped in agreement. Shino turned around and looked at Hinata, who just nodded to Kiba. He remained silent. Kiba took that as a yes.

"Let's go then!"


There ya go, Syao-san! I can't really write a ShinoHina… but one-sided love's okay, right? Merry Christmas!

minimerc