Seeing beauty through darkness

Darkness. That's what he saw everyday through the tinted shades that he wore. He would see the world around him in and array of black all the time. Day after day, nothing but a black hue coated his vision as he watched the people around him grow, in secrecy.

Beauty. That's what he watched everyday. Although everything he saw was dark, she seemed to be in color, her beauty shining through the darkness as she was the one he watched most often. In secrecy, he admired her pure and innocent beauty as he wished and longed for a reason to talk to her, to touch her…

Today, Shino was doing his regular observing. Hinata that day was wearing her usual outfit, he knew that, but something was different today…

Oh… she changed shampoos… noted Shino in his head.

His observing skills were actually top notch, very impressive indeed. Maybe it was to the point of being creepy, but to him, it was as simple as breathing. A day without her beauty felt wrong. His eyes were just drawn to her, it wasn't his fault. For all he could do was look at her, watch her every movement and note any changes in her demeanor. He couldn't say anything; he couldn't do anything for fear of jeopardizing their finally normal and stable relationship. He would daydream at times. He was heir to the Aburame clan; he had to keep the bloodline going somehow. Maybe one day he would ask her hand in marriage, but that was but a dream, she loved another…

Hinata turned and Shino saw her face. It was different somehow…

There's something wrong… what happened? thought Shino.

His face of stone would never change on the outside, for fear of showing any emotion, but today he was drawn to her like a moth to a flame. As she walked away, he followed quietly behind her.

What's wrong Hinata? asked Shino in his head.

He had to know. This time his observation skills weren't good enough, he had to speak, ask her what was wrong. He got close enough behind her to put his hand on her shoulder. Hinata flinched and turned quickly around.

"S-Shino!" she said surprised.

"What's wrong?"

His voice was flat and stern. He could see her expression go from surprised to confused. Apparently, he went too much out of his way and it wasn't like him. Shino could see that she was on the verge of crying as he stood there infront of her.

"N-nothing's wrong… I just…"

"Hinata… I can tell something's wrong…"

He looked at her face, so emotional. He looked up to her for that. He was so afraid to show any emotion while Hinata was so expressive. You could visibly see when she's happy, mad, or like now, sad. At times when you can't see someone's emotions, you can't really trust them, but Shino wanted to let Hinata know that she could confide in him, tell him her troubles. He wanted her to trust him like he did her.

"Please… you can tell me…" His voice now was a softer tone, as he placed his two hands on either of her shoulders, wanting to get in her heart, although his face remained emotionless. He was now talking and touching her, which seemed to be a lot better than just observing, in his head right now.

"It's well… I… can't tell you…"

The can of worms had been opened. Shino was determined to dig deep into her heart, he wanted to make his feelings clear now. He quickly ran his hands down her arms and took her hands.

"Come with me…"

"What?" asked Hinata.

Shino let go of her hands and turned around.

"I'm sorry… I didn't mean to be so impulsive… If you don't want to tell me, I respect that… I'll leave now…"

He began to walk away but he felt something tug at his sleeve.

"No don't go… I just… can't tell you here…"

Shino's heart warmed. Hinata wasn't disgusted with him, she trusted him and she actually wanted him to stay with her, She loosened the grip on his jacket a bit, he still never turned around.

"We could go um… somewhere else that is… if you still want…"

"My house…"

"What?" asked Hinata.

"Um… my house… noboby's home so…"

"Okay…" she replied softly.

All of his observing and absorbing let him know, that, without even turning around, that Hinata had a sad look on her face. He never dominated a conversation but he knew she needed someone to talk to and as he led her to his house, he was proud that she had chosen him.

Once at the Aburame household, Shino opened the door and they both went inside.

"You can sit over there… if you want, I'll be right back…"

Shino went down a hall while Hinata sat down on the couch. She had never been inside Shino's house before. It was clean, quiet and calm plus it seemed like a real comfortable place to live, although her mood never changed.

Shino came back and sat down beside her.

"So…" he said "What's…"

He was cut off by sobbing. Hinata had burst into tears. Sino watched her pain through his darkness and didn't know what to make of all of this emotion she was showing.

"He… he's w-with someone else…" she managed to say through her tears.

"Who?" asked Shino, although he already knew who she was speaking of.

"N-Naruto… he finally got with S-Sakura…"

He knew that this was going to happen. He knew one day her heart would be broken by him. He didn't say a word, just watched his poor friend cry. This is what he wanted. A reason to touch her and talk to her, but he was unable to do both, all he could do was observe.

He was caught off guard when Hinata came close and began to cry into his chest. She was crying so much it even began to soak through. His reflexes finally began working. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly and firmly in his strong arms. That's what did it for him there, he didn't want to let her go…

"Shino… I'm alone…"

No, you're not…"

"Why? I have nobody to turn to now…"

"Yes you do…"

Hinata raised her head and looked at him. She didn't know it but she was staring directly in his eyes. It pierced him, even though his darkness. His heart began to beat fast as he realized how close they were, still, his face wiped of emotion.


He finaly knew it was time. It was time to remove the darkness and take in all of the glorious light and color of her beauty. He slowly reached a hand up to his face and gently removed his glasses and placed them on the table beside him.

"You have me…"

Hinata stared in awe of the beautiful brown eyes before her. It was strange how the feeling took over so fast. Not even Naruto's cerulean eyes could compare to these. She began to blush. He leaned down and put his mouth near her ear and whispered:

"You're even more beautiful in color…"

He ever so lightly kissed her cheek as the slight touch made Hinata shiver. She finally found her tongue after being speechless.

"Shino I didn't know…"

"But do you accept me now that you do?"

"I accept you as a person, but I don't know about my feelings right away…"

Shino knew the harsh reality would come. Of course she still loved Naruto but she had to get passed it, even if it only meant one more glance at her, he wanted her to be happy again.

"…but I'm willing to try… I have to move on…"

He admired her strength.

"You're strong Hinata."

She smiled and cuddled close. It would take a while for her wounds to heal, but Shino would surely help her every step of the way…


"What is it Shino?" said Hinata weakly. She felt so comfortable in his arms that she was drifting off to sleep.

"I love you…" he said quietly, but she never heard… she was asleep…

Shino held her close and actually blushed everytime she'd make a relaxed breath in her clumber. For the first time he was showing his emotions on the outside although nobody saw… it was a start…

And although he knew she wouldn't have said "I love you" back, had she heard him, he had hoped that she would be able to someday. For now though, he was content being by her side and knowing that when they were alone, he no longer had to see her beauty through darkness anymore…