Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto...or any characters... I had no hand in the development of any character used in this story. Naruto and all characters mentioned in this fic are sole creations of Masashi Kishimoto and are neither used with permission or for profit.

although owning Neji-kun would be a dream come true!

She watched from the shadows as he trained every night for weeks. Sweat poured down his face to mingle with the thin trail of blood that colored his shoulder. Silently she waited, knowing that he would soon end his nightly exercise before the household awoke. His lean body moved with uncommon grace, nearly dragging a sigh from the girl.

Silently Hinata rose and slid inside, sliding the door closed behind her. Neji… she blushed girlishly as guilty thoughts rose up in her mind. It had been like this for a while. For as long as she could remember she watched him from a distance. Just a few weeks ago she wouldn't have even dared to sneak up that close. Knowing that his training distracted him didn't make her heart stop racing. But every night she sneaked down to watch him…and to imagine what it would be like if just once… Hinata giggled as one of her more vivid fantasies surfaced in her mind. On the other side of the door she could hear him dressing. She fled down the hall, safely in her room before he came inside.

Neji wondered who she thought she was fooling. His vision was nearly 360 degrees and he could sense chakra a mile away. He would have to be dead before he didn't notice her. Besides, she made it incredibly hard to train, sitting there giggling every few minutes. He wondered what she found so incredibly amusing. He toweled his hair and put back on the headpiece that hid his "Bird-in-the-cage" mark.

"Neji-kun?" He looked up, startled. Hinata's head poked out of her doorway.

"Hinata-sama? You're usually pretending to be asleep by now." Red crept up her neck and spread across her cheeks.

"Y-you knew?" The boy nodded.

"You're not exactly very subtle Hinata-sama. You needed something?"

"Um…yes well…um…would you l-like some tea?"

"Tea?" She held up a small teapot.

"It's cold out…and…well…I thought that…"

"I'd love to."

They drank in comfortable silence, Hinata refilling Neji's cup whenever it was in any danger of nearing half-empty. Somehow she had even managed to produce hot sweet dumplings. He regarded her thoughtfully. Apparently there was more to this girl than met the eye. She sat straight-backed across from him completely engrossed in swirling her tea about her cup, refusing to meet his eyes…a sure sign of an inferiority complex of some sort.

"Hinata-sama, why are you doing all this?"

"I don't understand."

"Why go through the trouble of watching me every night. Why would stay up all hours of the night to make dumplings? I mean, these taste like they were just baked."

"Do you like them?"

"Yes…stop trying to change the subject."

"FINALLY!" Both chuunin whirled at the hoarse whisper outside Hinata's window. "I've been waiting FOREVER!" A small body hopped inside the room. The flickering of a single candle illuminated the nine-year-old face. Hanabi plopped down between the two Nin and grinned up at her sister.

"It's about time! You've been making these things every night for three weeks and every night I have to eat em all by myself. Every time it's the same thing. I'll invite him tomorrow…I'll do it for sure tomorrow…Tomorrow Hanabi, I promise….' It's about time you got a backbone! So how many times did you stutter before finally having the guts to ask?"

"Hanabi-kun, can I talk to you over there for a second?"

"What's the secrecy for?" Neji smiled as Hinata's blush threatened to take over her face. "We're all friends here… so Hanabi-chan, every night?" Hanabi grinned evilly and pushed her black hair out of her face.

"Yep, sometimes she has a full meal, sometimes it's just dessert like now. She has a small icebox under the tatami mat in the corner, the one second from the window. Two mats down is a small stove, one of those little portable ones. Check the shelf in the closet and you'll find the binoculars she uses to spy on you." Neji's face wrinkled in confusion.

"Binoculars? She usually just hides behind the door and watches."

"Oh really? I'm not talking about when you're training. I mean she even spies on you when you're…"

"HANABI-CHAN! I think somebody's calling you. You should go check….now…far, far away."

"It's four o'clock in the morning! Nobody else is up! Oh…wait a minute! I get it now! You want me to go away so you can make out with Neji-kun! Why didn't you just say so?" She stuffed two dumplings in her mouth and put three more in her pocket.

One eyebrow arched upward. "Make out with me?"

"I'm so sorry Neji-kun. I have n-no idea where she got that."

"Come on Hinata-chan, don't lie. I've seen you watch him, they way you look at him when you think no one can see you…I know what a boy and a girl do when they're alone together."

"You mean since she found out that we're not first cousins?" Hanabi chuckled.

"You kidding? She was watching you long before that. Now that she knows you're not directly related she's a bit more open with it but she's been at this since…"

"Really Hanabi-you should go now."

"But…"

"NOW."

" You want to hoooold him, you want to looove him, you want to kiiiiiss him, you want to …"

"HANABI-CHAN!"

"Alright, alright I'm going. See you later Neji-kun, have fun Hinata-chan."

Hinata firmly shut the door behind her sister and fought to keep her hands from trembling.

"You know Hinata-sama, that's the thing with siblings: they have a tendency to say what we would like to say ourselves."

"Neji-kun…" He got up quietly.

"Hinata-sama, thank you for the tea. Everything was delicious and the company was informative to say the least. I would really enjoy coming again, if you would have me that is."

"Of course!" He smiled and bowed. He turned to leave, then paused a moment.

"Hinata-sama, if you don't mind my asking, when do you use the binoculars?

"Oh…w-when you walk home…or t-train in the forest…"

"Somehow I get the feeling that you're better at cooking than at lying. See you later Hinata-sama."

"Wait…here…for your injuries." Out of apparently nowhere, she produced a small jar of ointment.

"Thank you." He disappeared into the fading moonlight.

Hinata sank to the floor, relieved. She thought for sure he would hear her heart pounding in her chest. She had never been more embarrassed in her life. She would have to slip some sleeping powder in Hanabi's dinner.

She dug the binoculars out of their hiding spot and raised them to her eyes. A small space between several trees gave her a direct view of Neji's room.

Maybe it was the position of the moon, or Neji had been expecting it, or maybe the Fates had had enough of Hinata's games. For whatever reason, tonight was the first time he had seen the glare on the wall. Small twin circles of light formed on his wall…Hinata's binoculars. So she could see into his window. The chuunin shook his head slowly; this girl was something else. He looked directly at her, and knew that he was aware of her… but the lights didn't disappear…and Neji somehow could not bring himself to close the window. He undressed, only a little pensive about being watched. He wondered how often she watched, how much she saw. She was smarter than he thought…if she had used the Byuukagan he would have sensed her immediately. He stood, almost naked looking at her. What Hinata needed was someone to pull her out of her shell. The circles moved down his body, from the tight muscles in his shoulders, down his tight stomach…to his even tighter groin.

Damn, not now, not in front of Hinata-sama! Neji felt the all too familiar twinge. The lights wavered a moment, then disappeared. He could just imagine the beautiful blush spreading across her face right now. She was always so beautiful when she was embarrassed. Neji drew in a breath as his pants seemed suddenly much too tight.

"Mmmm…I think I have quite a few things in mind for little Hyuga Hinata.