Title: Inarticulate Revelation
Author: Santeira
Genre: General/Angst
Rating: G
Fandom: Naruto
Summary: Shino sees everything through his shaded eyes, yet he says nothing...

The inky night sky was engraved with a cloudy full moon, as Aburame Shino shifted his eyes upward, sitting on a tree branch. He rested his back against the dry trunk, listening carefully to the sound of crickets and the hooting of owls, his nostrils capturing the scent transmitted in the wind. The leaves rippled, as the dews dropped onto the ground.

It had been almost an hour since Hyuuga Hinata had gone inside her house, and he watched the lantern in the courtyard of the Hyuuga residence burn a bright red. Patience, one of his virtues, would be handy in this unofficial task he had meant to accomplish tonight. It was cold up here on the tree, but he would not leave, just to relive the moments when he would watch her in privacy like this a few years ago, just until his pair of 'diminutive friends' would be back from her house and give him an account of her state.

He had been lucky enough to have seen Hinata when she had opened the window of her room, and looked out at the impassable armor of darkness around her house, with the wistful look in her face. Though he doubted she would be able to see him, hidden by foliages and shadows. But then again, he did not expect her to. She had not seen him, even in the stark of resplendent light, during their tasks and assignments.

His thoughts were broken, as he heard insects buzz adjacent to his ear. They're back. Or rather, only one of them was back.

The bug hovered near his head, as he heard it speak. It told him, she had been crying again in her sleep. That would add to three consecutive days, the bug said, ever since the academy had been shaken by the pandemonium of the hooking up of Uzumaki Naruto and Haruno Sakura.

He could not help to feel a certain heat inside his chest. He perceived it as a form of anger, though he could not understand the cause. And this was the only way he knew as an act of comforting himself, because Shino had also felt something for Hinata, when he found out Sakura had finally accepted Naruto in her life.

During her training today, he had been able to sense her desolation, even though she had tried her unsuccessful best to obliterate it with her smile. Kiba had been more blatant in his approach to pacify her. He patted her head, and refused to speak about Naruto in her presence, though Shino knew better than to think Kiba was feeling sad for her. Kiba had jumped merrily with Akamaru in his arms behind a tree, where Hinata's tears had fallen. He was happy that Naruto was finally out of his way.

But Shino could not have felt happy, as he saw the tears in her silvery eyes. She had stuttered in her words more often, and her eyes were distant and a little bloodshot-Shino had seen everything through his shaded eyes, and yet, he had said nothing.

He could almost picture her crying in her bed; and he wished he could tell her-that it would all be over, but he himself did not know for certain. Who would know what was yet to come in their lives? Nobody. Nobody knew that Sakura and Naruto would become a pair. Nor did Shino know of the feeling inside of him would bestow this unhappiness, when he could do nothing for her now.

But he had to see her again.

Shino jumped onto the ground with ease, his chain of thoughts remaining whole. Delicately, he knitted his way to her door. The Hyuuga residence was well lit even at this late of night. As he moved along the corridor, Shino cast a sidelong glance through the unclosed threshold of the main bedroom. Shino saw Hinata's father sit in front of his desk, as he was inking letters. He continued to walk past a few closed rooms. A few portraits hung serially on the wooden wall.

And he found her room. It had to be hers, Shino judged, as he had seen her open the window when he was outside, sitting on the tree branch. His exceptional nostrils began to smell her scent. He could not be wrong-her scent could never be wrong.

As he entered her room, he could see there was a purple candle being lit on her desk, while she curled in her bed. The candlelight guttered, but it was enough to illuminate her face. She was wearing a nightgown, of glossy white fabric. She was in a deep slumber, but it seemed as if she were having a bad dream-her cheeks glistened with moist, and her eyes narrowed to tight slits when she murmured Naruto's name.

He moved closer to her bed, wishing he could do something for her. Anything.

Images after vague images began to slide in his memory-her motionless eyes, the luster of her bluish hair under a hot sun, the flush of her cheeks-they had been accompanying him all this while. He had been watching her for too long.

He placed his palm against her cheek, meaning to wipe her tears. He could only imagine being able to feel the silkiness of her skin against his own. Inside, he burned. He would do anything to soothe her, to be the one who would guide her through her odyssey. He opened his mouth to speak, but he felt no air pass in his throat. And it pained him. Why did not he tell her when he had the chance?

He would fight a losing war and win for her. He would fight a winning war and lose for her. He would give the world to her, but he said nothing.

Because he could not say anything.

In that instant, she opened her eyes. For a second, Shino thought Hinata saw him. But she abruptly looked down at her crumpled bed sheet. He saw her gather something onto her palm. It was a bug.

His missing bug.

She inspected the bug in her palm, prodding it with her forefinger as gently as he himself would be. Then she tilted her head upward, and her eyes searched around.

"Sh-Shino-Kun?" She whispered. Uncertain.

He brushed his ghostly fingers against her hair, something he would never have the guts to do with fleshy ones. He thought her irises dilated from his touch.

He remembered, that he had been following her since her single tear had fallen on his tomb, when she had visited him this morning. He had given up Heaven and made his way back to her. She had not been visiting him for almost a year. But he was near.

He would always be near.