DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters. I am only a poor sophomore who owns nothing.
After my piece for lord atomosk, this goes for Ox King who gave me the idea for a ShinoHina pairing. Thank you for the inspiration.
Another Crack Pairing (of course) from me. Now, Shino-Hinata!
I also have to say the same things here. This, again, isn't the best of my writings. Yet another experiment.
If you find this Shino negatively too OOC, don't comment on it because believe me, I already know that. Besides, there wouldn't be much reviews so if ever you come across my work, spare me the flames and leave me some sugar instead.
This is not a one shot but probably will last for only five chapters or so.
Anyway… I hope you guys enjoy.
Sleeps With Butterflies
Through his dark spectacles, he watched closely how the little insect made its course up his arm. Countless times he did this during the day when there was no training or mission, watching and observing his small friends. The insect anatomy never ceased to amuse him. Each part of the insect has its specific purpose. Insects were so organized with every move they made and they were necessity to nature. They play a role not only in his combats but also they proved vital for medicinal, agricultural, veterinary and even domestic use. Though most people, women specifically, would be grossed out because of the little creepy-crawlies, Aburame Shino loved them truly and bluntly, adoring each fine membrane and cilia.
His little companion disappeared under his sleeve.
When he was younger, the tickling sensation that his critters did to his skin every time they traveled bothered him immensely, making him die secretly of giggles. But as those years passed by, the giggles turned to snickers, snickers into snorts, and then snorts into just a faint smile until finally he was used to them. Insects were a part of him, who he was.
He lay down on the soft crisp grass, his senses well-aware of all the small life forms with him, under him, all over him. He shut his eyes close though his shades already blocked the sunlight. He spread his arms and legs apart, relaxing and drifting into the wonderful silence of being alone and responsibility-free. As he took a breath, the smell of green grass filled his head. He surely couldn't imagine life without nature. It was too pure and too essential.
After just three seconds, his thoughts switched back to what he was really thinking about. Something that bothered him furtively and he never thought once in his life he'd give importance to such matters. Something –someone, rather, who caught his attention. It really frightened him. Aside from the fact that he was a ninja and was supposed to be extra sensitive of the things around him but because of his bugs, his senses were heightened into the same level as of his insects and it was quite hard.
He was a patient man. Really patient. Someone could mess up with him and still he'd manage to breathe like nothing happened. Not that he was emotionally numb and apathetic, he just preferred to be a man of silence and depth. But physically, when he was not fighting, he was highly irritable. Not that he hated people but other people's skin felt no comfort to him. If ever someone would come into contact with him, he would flinch inside. That's why he always kept his long sleeved arms to his sides and his hands in his pockets.
The insects probably have rubbed off him. If only he didn't walk on twos, didn't have a human body or spokethe human language, he probably would have been considered an insect. Truth be told, his shades were permanently on the bridge of his nose because he thought it added an effect to his insect-likeness. If anybody knew, they should laugh their livers out.
Well, sometimes, he didn't really need to recoil when there was physical contact in anyway… because he never really got anyone to touch touch him. And all contacts he had with people just dissolved into the boiling acids of his stomach and he tried to ignore it.
But she was a different case.
He didn't really give that much of a racket when he got teamed up with her. But he did notice that she was different from other girls. Other girls were blunt and silly but she wasn't. Other girls were blatantly boy-crazy about the Uchiha genius but she kept her eyes only for the least expected person to deserve such affections. Her crush on Naruto gave him a view of what kind of girl Hinata really was. Considering that most girls will flip over for the looks of Sasuke, for Hinata, it was different. Appearance, he noted, wasn't important at all. And he also knew how Hinata looked up to the kitsune, no matter how discriminated the poor kid was. Perhaps they shared the same principles in life. What others didn't know was that secretly, he was also awed by Naruto's unending dedication of being a ninja and optimistic attitude.
Yes, Hinata was a unique girl and it didn't take long for Shino to notice it. If only she was to know herself better. If only she could see how strong she really was. She was strong and firm in her own way that she did not know about it… She was sweet, sincere and he must admit that he grew to love her like… a sister….
Yes, a sister… Sister…
What he did not understand was why… why did he hear his heartbeat suddenly race in the middle of his ears? And every time her hand accidentally or purposely touched his –even just her fingertips, it made him feel the same ticklish feeling he felt when he first had insects travel on his skin. And the worse part was… the ticklish feeling made his heart beat even louder than it already was and made his other senses tingle. Those other senses were mostly in his torso and every now and then uncontrollably on his groin.
When she blushed lightly for some reason that was terribly important to her, he always wanted to look and was very tempted to push his dark glasses down his nose to get a full view of the beautiful way she turned pink. And what kept him wondering was that his little insects paid no mind. They retreated somewhere unknown to him every time she was around and they did not plague her when she made contact with him.
Ah… she was very much like maggots feasting on his decaying brain, invading him completely, leaving nothing behind. Just full of her.
His time which was supposed to be spent observing his tiny companions were now winding through countless thoughts of her and her blushes. Just now he tried to think of insects and insects, friends and missions, more insects but unfortunately, she still managed to tweak him conscious to shift his thoughts back to her.
"Hinata…" he whispered blissfully as he blinked against the sunlight, marveling how delicious her name felt in his lips.
His eyes flared open and he sat up straight. His pounding heart chugged his chest and with his eyeshe found the mind-raider a feet from him, looking at him as she lay on the grass. He swallowed the thickening lump on his throat. Were they alone… together…?
A bark from behind made him turn his head and found Kiba sitting down and playing with Akamaru.
The loud beat of his heart alerted him again of her presence and he felt all the insects around him move with action. He gulped. She heard him call her name.
He pushed his shades firmer on his eyes and tilted his head forward but secretly made his eyes wander to his right.
Hyuga Hinata lay on the grass. Her short hair was spread like a dark sun behind her head, her thick lashes against her seemingly soft cheeks, her lips slightly parted –moist and full, as if waiting, waiting…
"Shino-kun…?" those lips asked him, making him shake his head with discomfort. "Is something wrong?"
All he could do was shake his head.
"Ok…" she replied softly, turning her gaze back to the sky.
He wanted to lay back beside her but the awareness that she was really there frightened him inside and he only sat there, uneasy inside his chest.
"Oi, bug-boy, Hina-chan," Kiba suddenly asked, getting up to his feet. "I'm hungry. Let's go eat something! And after that, let's get back to training."
Kiba was a friend but now he wanted nothing more than to be alone with Hinata. He looked at her and waited. The serene look on her face was so calming, he dearly hoped she'd stay.
"You go on ahead, Kiba-kun. I… want to stay here and do nothing for once," she replied weakly, her eyes closed.
Shino wondered if heaven was working its wonders for him because Kiba stood up, took Akamaru and started to turn away.
"Hina-chan, are you sure you're not hungry?"
"Ok. Oi, bug boy, you take care of Hina-chan while I'm gone okay," he said quickly, walking back to town.
The silence unnerved him, the steady thick anticipation coursing through his veins.
"Oh, Shino-kun," she whispered, turning to him, balancing with her elbow. "What are you thinking about?"
He was an honest man. "You."
She blushed and almost lost balance with her elbow. Her eyes fluttered when she bit her lip. "R-really…?"
Shino nodded and lay back down on the grass with comfort. "Yes. I've been wondering why I feel so drawn to you, Hina-chan."
She sat and crossed her legs. Obviously, she was not used to having this kind of conversation. Though both of them didn't know where exactly it was leading to.
"Tell me, Hina-chan, what do you think of me?"
She turned from his gaze and started to rub her arms with her palms, warming herself. "A-anou… well… you're one of my closest friends, Shino-kun…"
He laughed to himself. "Of course I am…"
"I also think you're b-brave and s-strong w-willed, Shino-kun… Truthfully… I admire you b-because I know you w-won't run away from a… a fight…"
Won't run away… Yes. That's who he was. He wasn't just a freak for insects. He also had principles in life. He believed in a good clean fight. He would never back down form anything. And he certainly wouldn't back about his emotions. "Do you want to know what I think about you?"
She hesitated but nodded. "I g-guess it w-wouldn't hurt…"
He snickered and smiled. He stopped to study her, though he already knew how she looked like. "You're brave yourself, Hina-chan. You're strong, do you know that? And I think you're kind and sweet. Aside from those strong personalities you have somewhere inside yourself, you're…" he paused, taking a deep breath first. "You're beautiful, Hinata. You're so exquisite and do you know that I've grown to love you?"
Her jaw dropped expectedly, her white eyes wide with shock. "R-really…"
She said the word twice and he nodded. And in a flash, he kneeled in front of her. He could feel the shock emanating from her as there were inches between them.
She gasped and shivered.
"Don't worry, Hina-chan, I won't steal your first kiss," he whispered, making his breath tickle her lips. He gave her a smile and leaned close to mat his lips on the side of her mouth. "I love you…"
Before she could react, he got on his feet and extended his hand to her. "Come on…?"
Nodding dumbly, she took his hand and she blushed without control as she noticed that both their palms had no gloves, making their human warmth connect and feel each other.
Shino squeezed the smaller hand in his as they walked. The squeeze, so it seemed, prevented the Hyuga from taking her hand back if ever she had intentions to do so. His thumb lovingly kept brushing back and forth across her knuckles and the way she tensed up, he could easily tell that her pretty face was flushed. There was an eerie excitement inside him as the town came into view -will she withdraw her hand from his own? The heat emanating from their palms brought a feathery feeling inside his chest. He had insects inside his clothes but he was not so sure about butterflies. There seemed like millions inside his stomach.
The few moments of silence made Shino stop a while and take a good look at her. She stared at him with her humble white eyes and before she opened her mouth to say something, he gave her hand one last squeeze and let it go. He smiled at her and quickly avoided her eyes, truthfully scared to see what rejection might be mirrored there.
"Did Kiba say where he was going to eat?" he asked casually, trying to change the awkward air between them.
Hinata said nothing but only kept her lone hand against her chest.
Did he really make her upset? Kami… He sighed. "Look, Hinata. I apologize if I offended you in any way. I just… I just felt like I needed to do that. So sorry. I didn't mean to take advantage of you or-" He stopped as he realized that he was getting carried away. "I'm sorry. This is strange, I know… So… I really have to go home."
It had been about fifteen minutes or more since Shino left her alone in the street. Time was slower than usual, she noticed. Some people must have been wondering why she was standing out cold like a statue for some time now. But her feet were immobile, her balled fists frozen against the beating of her heart, and her eyes were glued on the ground where he stood a few moments ago.
His unpredictable confession earlier repeated in her brain over and over again that it spaced her out completely. Aside from the fact that she wasn't used to hear things like that but it was strange enough that they held hands for some time. Holding Shino's hand was very… sweet. And warm. Comfortable. Weird yet… wonderful. Did he really mean those things he said? She couldn't imagine what exactly was to love about someone like her. Shino-kun must be confused, she thought. No way would he like me. Besides, weren't they just friends?
Friends… they were friends, Kami-sama. Friends were hard to find these days. Especially when you're not that strong of a ninja, silent and someone not-so-pretty. Shino, though silent, must have been really confused to have thought he liked -loved her. Yes... maybe it was just a mistake.
The Hyuga made her way back home, still clutching her hand against her heart. Wondering when he would hold her hand again.
The next few days have passed and were full of training and less talk. Hinata tried to ignore the fact that Shino was ignoring and avoiding her. Sure they exchanged a few words, but they didn't talk. Maybe it was better that way, she thought. Maybe he did think that their friendship wasn't supposed to go that way. But though her thoughts were so, her heart was beating against it. In fact, she was looking forward to train or spar with him, and maybe then, they'd 'accidentally' touch each other's hand again. It was a guilty pleasure, that's what. The way their hands linked together brought her the most comfortable sense of feeling. It was as if they needed to be holding each other's hand.
And now, the Hyuga secretly stared at her companion, who was wiping some sweat off his face. He raised his shades up on his forehead for a while and quickly put it back on after getting rid of his perspiration. She heard Kiba call out to him, taunting him of being a 'scared pest.' The 'pest' nodded and took off his coat and top, revealing a very well-toned upper body. A blush caressed her cheeks as she caught herself admiring his fine muscles. She wondered how it felt to touch his skin -would it feel so warm like his palm felt? Once again she heard Kiba call, but now asking her if she wanted to do team-up with Shino against him.
Before she could protest, Shino said something to Kiba about being an airhead. He said that he didn't need Hinata to beat someone like him.
"I don't need help, Kiba," Shino said, planting his feet firmly on the ground. "I'm not like you."
"What the hell do you mean!"
"Just go and call your puppy and let's get it on."
"Akamaru is not a puppy!" Kiba barked, clenching his fists harder. He turned to Hinata. "Okay, Hinata! You hold onto Akamaru for a while and watch while I beat this bug boy up!"
That statement, Hinata knew, would really ignite the heat of the training session. It was better to watch, she thought. Yes, better… to watch Shino's bare body, the paleness starting to flush against the heat of the sun. Her thoughts got interrupted by a little whine from the ground. She looked down and saw the obedient canine, panting and tail-wagging, waiting to be petted. She gave Akamaru a grin and gathered the pooch and placed it on her lap. As she smoothed the dog's fur, her eyes locked on the fight before her.
It was pretty senseless. The sparring match had been going on for thirty minutes and both of them were throwing punches and kicks, dodging and avoiding at the same time. Hinata, who fifteen minutes ago was content spoiling Akamaru with her coos and caresses, left. She probably got bored. Shino knew Kiba's manual fighting pose and styles and Kiba proved he knew him just as well. Both of them were normal fighters without their pets' help. But today, Shino observed, there was a fierce glare every now and then from Kiba.
Shino finally saw an open opportunity to throw a punch and he took it immediately. The hit made Kiba bounce off a few meters from him.
As Kiba regained posture to continue the match, he glared at him. "Asshole… I'm not letting you get Hinata, you hear me?"
Having heard those words, Shino's body struggled to dodge Kiba's assault. Kiba gave him a powerful uppercut, his front teeth piercing against his lower lip, making it bleed profusely. "Damn…" he hissed, pressing the back of his hand against the bruised lip. He took off his shades and glared at Kiba. "What the hell do you mean, dog-brain?"
Kiba gave him a flying-kick but he avoided it. "You sick bastard! Don't you think I know what you and Hinata are doing?"
"I'm not doing anything, damn it!" Shino exclaimed, trying to duck when Kiba gave him a hook punch. He spit the blood from his wound on the ground and returned the punch on Kiba's stomach. "You're imagining things, baka!"
Kiba didn't bounce off when he punched him, instead he quickly gave Shino another punch on the ribs. "Imagine my ass, bug boy! What did you do to her anyway? You must have done something!"
"You're screwed up, dog-brain! I don't know what you're talking about!"
"Shut the hell up, idiot. Hinata's been giving you the looks!" Kiba roared, throwing punches here and there. "When you're not looking she looks. When she's not looking then you look! If you think you're going to take advantage of Hinata, you're wrong, pest! Over my dead body!" Kiba hollered loud before giving Shino a powerful punch on the belly, sending the insect-lover far across the training grounds. His shades fell down on the ground and Kiba stomped on it angrily. He was still breathing hard, anger flowing madly on his veins. As he glared at Shino, he saw the shocked expression on the boy's face. Then he felt like cursing. Maybe he shouldn't have said too much. Before he could punch or help Shino, a nervous cry echoed from the distance.
"Shino-kun!" Hinata yelped, running to the boy's aid. She knelt down beside him, placing her hands on his bare shoulders. She looked at him with so much pity. She glanced back at Kiba and gave him a disappointed look. "Kiba-kun, you overdid it. Look at him, he's bleeding!" She dug her hand inside her coat's pocket and pulled out her silk handkerchief and pressed it against his bruised lip. "Are you okay, Shino-kun?"
All he got to do was stare at her. The concerned look on her face was priceless. It was almost like she loved him to care so much. As she pressed the soft silk on his lip, he couldn't help himself but to touch her wrist. He stared into her eyes and he knew that with or without the shades, she was stunning. He preferred to look at her without the shades, he concluded.
A growl was heard from behind, but when Hinata turned her head to check for Kiba, he was gone. She turned her attention back to Shino. His hand still held her wrist. "Could you stand up?"
"Later, Shino, we have to get you cleaned up."
Till the next chapter... (I hope)
A.N. Howuzzat? How about a review? Hope you guys enjoyed that.
Disclaimer: Story title borrowed from Tori Amos' song, 'Sleeps With Butterflies'.