Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

A/N.This story was inspired by a titleless story by an anonymous person. Credit to that person/story. x3

This almost made me cry...dangit, I'm such a sappy fool. x33 Review, please? x3333

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There's a story about two best friends named Uchiha Sasuke and Hyuuga Hinata. People would often wonder why they were friends when they were so different.

Sasuke was a cold-hearted person who was always bitter and had never been seen wearing a smile. His parents had died when he was only nine years old, leaving him under the care of his older brother, Uchiha Itachi. Sasuke was forced to live under the shadow of his older brother, Itachi, who he hated deeply for reasons that no one knew.

People would feel sorry for him - that is, if he had an attitude adjustment. He was always snapping at people for bothering him, and if something annoyed him - and he was annoyed by a lot of things - he would let out his anger in the most rudest, cruelest way possible. He was arrogant and thought lowly of everyone, as if they were mere bugs under the sole of his shoe. He seriously had an attitude problem, but no one dared tell him that.

Girls adored him, memorized by his piercing black eyes, his raven hair, his cold and cool persona. But as they grew older, they learned that looks weren't everything, and got over Sasuke and looked for another suitable boyfriend who wasn't cold-hearted and known to break girls' hearts.

Hinata, on the other hand, was a kind-hearted, loving person that everyone liked and respected. She often seemed distant, but she was almost always seen wearing a smile. Children adored and loved her very much, and parents often used her as a model for their kids. There was absolutely nobody that thought badly of Hinata.

People would ask her why they were friends, or even suggest her to leave him and find a better friend, but Hinata would simply smile and say, "We've been friends for a long time, so it would be hard for us to drift apart."

xXxXxXx

One day, Hinata was walking home when she saw Sasuke storming out of his house, burning holes through everything with his angry glare. The bruise on Sasuke's cheek told everything, and Hinata ran to help him. Sasuke told her to leave him alone.

"I want to help you," Hinata whispered urgently.

Sasuke glared at her. "I don't need your help! Get lost!" he snapped angrily. "What's your problem, anyway, always prancing around and acting like a goody-two-shoes? I told you, get lost! I don't want to see you!"

Hinata obeyed, only for his sake, not for her own. Her eyes flickered before she turned away and left.

Weeks passed and they didn't speak to each other. People would glance at them curiously when they passed by each other without saying a single word. It seemed as if Hinata's words had been shattered into everything but the truth.

xXxXxXx

Months crawled by, and finally, it was Hinata's 16th birthday. Sasuke was walking around the school angrily when he stopped at the sight of his former best friend sitting on a bench, helping some kids with their homework. He scowled, thinking, How pathetic. That goody-two-shoes act is really getting old.

Then it struck him. Hinata was actually happy...not him. She was happy, while he wasn't. And for some reason, that made him furious. Who gave her the right to be happy when he couldn't be? How dare she be happy when he couldn't be?

After the kids gave her a hug and skipped off, Sasuke decided to confront Hinata. She didn't seem the least bit frightened or nervous. In fact, she still had that smile she was wearinig when she was helping the kids with their homework. That made him even more angry.

"Why are you always so happy?" Sasuke demanded, annoyed and angry.

"I'm not always happy..." Hinata replied calmly, looking him straight in the eye.

Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "Well, your goody-two-shoes and happy-go-lucky act makes me sick!" he snarled in a low tone, glaring icily at his former best friend.

Hinata smiled, but this time, for the first time, it wasn't one of happiness. It was one full of great pain and sadness.

"Exactly. This smile I wear...the laugh I give...it's all a mask to cover everything deep within me. Acting...that's all it is, Sasuke."

Sasuke stared, dumbfounded and stunned. He had never heard Hinata talk in such a way before. It almost made him feel...guilty. Wait, guilty? Sasuke shrugged off the guilt and scowled. Hinata turned her back on him and slowly walked away, leaving Sasuke standing motionless, digesting her words with frustration and confusion.

Sasuke ran out into the parking lot and leapt onto his motorcycle. He remembered the times he had taken Hinata on a ride when they were still friends. He shook his head to clear those thoughts and drove off, wondering why he was thinking about such wistful thoughts about his former best friend. Usually, when he thought of her nowadays, it was always about how annoying and stupid her goody-two-shoes act was. Now, as he drove home, he was remembering all of the times they had spent together before he drove her away that day.

When he arrived home, he quickly made sure that Itachi wasn't around. Pleased and satisfied that he couldn't find a trace of him, he collasped lazily onto a couch and turned on the TV. He was flipping through the channels when he stopped at the sight of a beautiful girl with blue locks and deep ivory eyes.

It was all too-familiar. The faint smile, the flawless skin, the silky tresses of dark sapphire, the tender eyes of moonstone...it was Hinata! But what was she doing on the news?

His question was answered in the next minute.

"A 16-year old girl attending Konoha High was found in a bathroom today at 3:16. Apparantly, judging from the knife beside her, we have concluded that she commited suicide. But the reason for such a dreadful thing is unknown, for we questioned her peers, and they all said that she was always happy and they never thought she'd even think of doing such a terrible thing. Her name is Hyuuga Hinata - "

Sasuke turned off the TV quickly, not bothering to hear the rest, trembling. No...no...it's all a lie! They're lying! he thought in despair.

Before he knew what he was doing, he was running out the door and jumping onto his motorcycle. He drove as quickly as he could to his school, not caring that he was breaking the speed limit. During his empty and desperate ride, all he could think of was Hinata's smiling face, and then the last words she spoke to him. It's a lie...Hinata would never do such a foolish thing...it's all a lie! he tried to tell himself, but his heart was sinking with dread.

He skidded to a stop and parked his motorcycle in a parking lot that was filled with empty police cars. He jumped off his motorcycle and ran, his heart hammering in his throat. He ran on until he was stumbling and his ribs were crying out in pain, but he ignored their pleads to stop and kept going.

He was afraid to stop running, as if somehow running was the only thing that could stop Hinata from being dead. It was up to him to save Hinata. He had to keep going.

When he arrived at his school, he saw that police cars were parked everywhere and police were climbing out of their cars and rushing into the school. Judging from the large crowd near the girls' bathroom, Sasuke believed that he would find Hinata there, and he pushed past them and his eyes widened with horror as his mouth hung open in shock.

He had only a glimspe of Hinata's face before a policeman spread a white sheet over her entire body. Her lifeless face was the most awful thing he had ever seen, cold and dead and sad. Her mouth wasn't smiling anymore; it was stern and sad, the opposite of its look in life. Her eyelids concealed the eyes of his best friend, the eyes he would never be able to look into anymore. She wasn't happy anymore, but instead of feeling satisfied, he felt a surge of sadness and guilt clamp his heart.

His eyes fell upon the arm that was protruding unintentionally from the sheet. Hinata always wore long-sleeved shirts, but her sleeves were rolled up, exposing her arm. There were scars everywhere, new scars that were still shedding blood, and old scars that were trying to heal. It struck him even worse than Itachi's fist that day when he broke his friendship with Hinata. Hinata had cut herself long before.

Before he knew it, tears were streaming down his face and he hurriedly wiped them away. He hated crying. It was a sign of weakness. But what he hated more was himself. He...he allowed Hinata to die.

"Excuse me, sir, are you Lady Hinata's boyfriend?" a policewoman asked, tapping him on the shoulder.

If this situation weren't heartbreaking, he would have laughed out loud and demand where they'd get a silly idea like that from. But all he could say was, "No...I'm...her best friend." Was, or is? He didn't know, but it didn't seem to matter anymore.

The policewoman placed her hand on his shoulder comfortingly. "I'm sorry. I loved Lady Hinata too...my children did as well..." She sniffled and pulled out a tissue out of her pocket, dabbing at her eyes. "We all did."

Sasuke hung his head. "Where are her parents...?" he asked softly. "I want to speak to them...and apologize for not being able to stop her."

The policewoman looked at him strangely. "You were Lady Hinata's best friend and you never knew? Lady Hinata's mother died giving her young sister, Hyuuga Hanabi, birth, and her father abandoned both her and her younger sister when Lady Hinata was only three years old. Lady Hinata and her younger sister were raised in the abusive orphanage that we found out about and shut down several years ago. I believe Lady Hinata's sister died a few months ago in a car accident. Lady Hinata never told you?"

Sasuke was speechless. He had never known. Hinata was suffering all along. And he realized that all those smiles and laughs were hiding everything. That goody-two-shoes and happy-go-lucky act...was just...an act. This time, Sasuke didn't try to stop the tears. He allowed himself to cry his heart out. Hinata had lost everything she loved, but she could always smile. She lost her parents, her freedom, her home, her sister...everything. And now, she lost her life.

It was her birthday today, too. This was supposed to be the most happiest day of her life, but instead, it turned out to be the worst. She was supposed to be having fun, laughing and smiling, eating cake, playing party games, opening wrapped presents, not lying dead, drenched in her own blood. Her birthday turned out to be her deathday. Sasuke couldn't bear it.

"I can't believe it..." he sobbed silently. "Hinata...I'm so sorry..." He fell onto his knees and took her limp hand, tears streaming down his face.

The policewoman smiled sadly and knelt down with him, placing her hand on his shoulder. "It's all right, son, just let it all out..." she whispered. "All we can do now is pray for Lady Hinata and hope that her spirit will find peace."

It was then that he realized that all this time, Hinata was having a worse life than he was, but kept a smile on to hide her pain.

Hinata had lost everything, but she always managed to smile. She was stronger than him in so many ways. He was always making sure everyone knew about his pain, and always making sure every look people sent him was of pity or sympathy. But Hinata...she never let anyone know.

Maybe, Sasuke cried to himself, just maybe...if he was different, he could have helped Hinata. But it was too late. Hinata was gone...forever.

xXxXxXx

Sasuke stared down at the ground, the sobbing of people around him echoing in his mind. His heart twisted with even more guilt and pain as he watched Ino look into the glass coffin at Hinata's body and wipe her tears as she sobbed. Sakura cried alongside Ino, not even bothering to wipe her tears away.

"Hinata, you were a great person..." Sakura sniffled. "I-I'm going to miss you a lot...we all will. I hope your soul finds happiness..."

"Hinata, you were my best friend," Ino wept. "I-I will always be grateful that I met you. T-Thank you for all you've done. May...may your soul rest in peace."

Ino stumbled off, wiping her eyes desperately as Sakura touched her shoulder in comfort and wiped her own eyes as well.

Sasuke looked around, and his eyes softened as he noticed all of the crying, heartbroken people that were weeping for Hinata. They had a reason to cry. She was the most kindest, good-hearted person he had ever known. So many people loved her, and who wouldn't?

Suddenly, Sasuke felt the storm of anger break within him and he clenched his fists tightly.

Hinata thought it was so wonderful to take her own life and make people cry their hearts out for her. It wasn't wonderful at all. Why didn't she live on and make people smile and laugh? But no, she just had to take her own life, for stupid reasons only depressed, suicidal maniacs would think about.

Hinata was gone...forever. He would never see her again after this day. Hinata belonged to him, more than anyone else in the world. No one had even asked him. No one had even told him. Now she was gone, and all they could do was cry. Not for her, but for themselves. Just themselves. If they cared at all for Hinata, they would have never allowed her to take her own life.

He, Sasuke, was the only one who cared about Hinata. But she went ahead and died. She did it on purpose, didn't she? She wanted to make him pay for what he did to her. She wanted him to feel the same pain she did. Her plan was working too. Sasuke bit his tongue to keep from screaming out his agony.

It was his turn to look into the glass coffin at Hinata's body. Now that she was purified of all of the blood that had been shed from her wounds, she looked as if she were merely sleeping. She looked so beautiful yet sad in her white gown, her pale skin aglow, her lips parted, her eyes closed softly.

"It was all an act, huh?" Sasuke asked softly, more to himself than to her. "Just a stupid act. You're a fool, Hinata. You could have told me. I would have saved you. But now...you're gone forever. And you'll never know...how much I really cared about you...how much...I really loved you..."

A tear trickled down his cheek. If only it was like a fairytale, like Snow White, and she would wake up the instant he kissed her. He would gladly kiss her a thousand times just to have her wake up and smile that beautiful smile of hers again. But this wasn't a fairytale.

He stepped back and watched as Hinata was lowered into her grave. All he could think about was how things would have turned out differently if he hadn't been so selfish. If only he had even thought about how Hinata would feel...

Now Hinata would never know how much he loved her.

xXxXxXx

He was running. He didn't know where, but it didn't matter. He had to keep running. Otherwise, the darkness would catch up to him and swallow him whole.

Suddenly, his ankles felt icy cold and he looked down, only to find that he had stepped into a stream. His hands were moist with sweat, and shakily, he held up a photo and stared at it blankly yet intently. It was a picture of him and Hinata together, smiling as though nothing else mattered. The Hinata in the photo wasn't Hinata. Hinata was gone. Wherever he'd go, he wouldn't find her. In another country, another island, another planet...nowhere. Hinata was gone.

He screamed something without words and tore the photo in half. He threw the ripped photo into the water, watching them swirl in the current, watching them disappear. The last thing he saw was Hinata's smiling face in the photo before it sunk into the water and vanished.

Sasuke sat down on the ground and placed his head in his buried arms. There was nowhere to go. Nowhere. Ever again.

"That was a stupid thing to do, Sasuke." Naruto stepped behind Sasuke, staring down at him solemnly. His voice wasn't cruel and taunting, but Sasuke found it offending, anyway. Sasuke felt as though the storm of anger in him shattered once more.

"Leave me alone, Naruto," he snapped back at the blonde.

Naruto sat down beside Sasuke awkwardly, staring sadly at his raven-haired friend. He hesitantly placed his hand on Sasuke's shoulder comfortingly.

"You can cry, if you want, Sasuke..." Naruto whispered softly.

"Why would I?" Sasuke demanded in a low tone, not lifting his head from his arms. "I hate her. I hate her so much. I wish I never met her!"

As he shouted his hatred to the mountains, it felt as though the storm of anger was leaking out of his heart. But as the anger left him, something else surged through his heart. Half sadness, but mostly terrible guilt. But his anger wasn't going to give in so easily.

Naruto's eyes softened. "Sasuke...you don't mean that. I know you don't." His blue eyes pleaded with Sasuke to agree and accept that anger was taking control. Naruto wanted Sasuke tounderstand that he truly cared about Hinata.

Sasuke, even though he felt guilty, didn't intend to let Naruto win this argument. "What do you know?" Sasuke shot back.

"I know that you care about Hinata much more than you think you do," Naruto responded softly. "Hinata...was a good person...and a true friend. It's okay if you miss her, but just know...Hinata's not gone, Sasuke. You can always find her...in here."

Naruto placed his hand over Sasuke's heart. If this weren't a heartbreaking situation, Sasuke would have felt uncomfortable. But he supposed it was alright for now.

As Naruto's hand covered his heart, Sasuke suddenly heard his own pulse echoing in his ears. He could hear Hinata's voice too, her soft, tiny voice whispering a fragile melody in his mind. He could see her smile, the beautiful smile that he had insisted that he hated, yet in truth, loved very much. He could feel warmth within his heart, not the warmth of his blood, not the warmth of Naruto's hand, but the warmth of Hinata's presence. Naruto was right. Hinata would always live in his heart.

Naruto removed his hand from Sasuke's chest and smiled sadly. Sasuke lifted his head slightly to meet Naruto's eyes. He found it awkward to find comfort in Naruto, but maybe this time, he'd let it slide.

"...Thank you." It felt really awkward and strange to say that, but he felt as though a burden had been shed. Sasuke wanted to say all of the things Hinata had told him about Naruto, how much she had admired him, how much she wanted to be like him. Maybe he would, someday. Hinata wouldn't mind.

Sometimes, you need to give things to people just for them, not for the satisfaction of giving it. Naruto had already helped him understand that Hinata wasn't truly gone. She was still living...in his heart.

xXxXxXxXx

A Year Later...

"Hinata, I brought your favorite flowers for you today." Sasuke gently placed the bonquet of blue bellflowers at her grave. He stood up and stepped back quietly, feeling the wind sweeping him into its gentle embrace. The lone grave looked much brighter with those beautiful flowers. Since Hinata was an important and loved person, it was decided that her body would rest alone in a field of flowers. Her favorite flowers.

"I just remembered...it's your birthday. I guess these flowers will do, huh, Hinata?" Sasuke smiled sadly. "I guess everyone forgot that it was your birthday today. I'm the only one who remembers."

"Don't flatter yourself, Sasuke."

Sasuke turned around. It was Naruto, Ino, and Sakura, accompanied with what seemed to be the entire town. They were each holding a plastic bag full of things Sasuke couldn't make out.

"...What are you guys doing here?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Naruto crossed his arms over his chest.

Ino smiled sadly, finishing for Naruto, "We've come here to visit Hinata. We didn't forget that it was her birthday today, Sasuke."

Sasuke watched in surprise as Ino, Naruto, Sakura, and everyone else came forth and presented their gifts to her grave. Paper cranes of all sizes and colors, some lopsided and some perfect, surrounded Hinata's grave, giving the lonely and empty atmosphere a bright radiance. Sasuke frowned in confusion and turned to Ino, who was beside him.

"Paper cranes?" Sasuke asked curiously. Ino smiled as she carefully placed a small, green paper crane in front of Hinata's grave.

"Don't you remember the legend of the paper cranes? If one sick person folds a thousand cranes, the gods will grant their wish."

"But Hinata's not sick...she's..." Sasuke couldn't bring himself to say "dead." Ino fingered a paper crane, a sad smile marring her face.

"I know that. But Naruto, Sakura, and I decided to do this project. Each person in this town would fold a certain number of paper cranes and we would put it at Hinata's grave on her birthday each year. This way, we believe that Hinata will be happy and at peace up there...wherever she is."

Ino looked up at the sky, her eyes softening. A single tear streamed down her cheek and sunk with a silent plop into her purple shirt. Sasuke had to look away so his eyes wouldn't be forced toshed tearsat the sad memory of Hinata and the mournful sight of Ino crying for Hinata.

"Hinata...she...she loved you, you know. She told me that if it weren't for you, she would have never found happiness."

Sasuke understood now, but great pain came along with his understanding. If he had stuck with her through those hard times, she would have been happy. But he drifted away from her...that was probably what motivated her to commit suicide. Tears formed rapidly in his eyes, but he hung his head to conceal his eyes from view.

"Lady Ino!" a young girl called. She bowed to Ino formally, apologizing, "I'm sorry, Lady Ino. I didn't have enough origami paper to make fifteen paper cranes. I only made fourteen...I'm sorry, Lady Ino." She bowed again.

"It's okay." Ino patted her head. "Hopefully, someone will have made an extra one."

The girl looked up at the sky. "Is Lady Hinata up there somewhere?" she asked sadly.

Ino smiled. "Yes. She's up there, and she's happy."

Tears streamed down the girl's face."Lady Hinata was like a mother to me..." she sniffled. "I loved her very much..."

Ino hugged her lovingly, and the girl hugged her back before walking off, occasionally wiping her eyes. Sasuke fished into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled piece of thin paper that he had jammed into his pocket after crafts class that day. Without lifting his head, he called out to the blonde girl.

"Ino..."

"Yeah?" Ino looked at him.

"Teach me how to make a paper crane."

xXxXxXx

When Sasuke was done, he placed the awkward-looking crane at Hinata's grave. It was lopsided and plain, but he felt pleased. A thousand paper cranes would be buried with her spirit.

People began to leave, except for Ino, Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke. They stood awkwardly before Hinata's grave, silent and motionless.

"I have to go now, guys. My mom's expecting me home for dinner." Sakura smiled apologetically.

"I'll walk home with you, Sakura," Ino chimed in softly.

The two left, leaving Naruto and Sasuke alone. Sasuke looked up at the sky.

"Do you really think Hinata is happy right now?" Sasuke asked quietly.

Naruto smiled. "Wherever she is, I'm sure she's happy. And I'm sure, wherever she is, she's watching over the people she loves."

"That would be a lot of people. Hinata loves everybody."

Naruto laughed softly. "Yeah. But remember what Ino said...Hinata loved you..."

Naruto left. Sasuke stood there silently, facing Hinata's grave. He closed his eyes. Hinata should have found someone better than him, someone who could have helped her get through those harsh times when he himself couldn't. Hinata should have found someone else to love...but why him?

Sasuke would have willingly allowed Hinata and Naruto to be together, for the sake of Hinata's happiness. People said that Hinata's feelings for Naruto faded. Maybe she did get over him. But if she did, she should have found someone else to love...not him. Not Sasuke.

When she was alive, he couldn't provide her with the love she needed. It wasn't fair for Hinata. She didn't deserve him, and he didn't deserve her, either.

"Hinata...all I want to say is...thanks for everything you've done for me. And...I'm sorry I couldn't have been there for you when you needed me. Wherever you are, I hope you're happy."

Sasuke turned his back on her grave. "And just know..." Sasuke slowly walked away, a tear sliding down his cheek. "...I love you too."

Sasuke opened his eyes slowly. Maybe...in this lifetime, it wasn't meant to be. Maybe...in the next lifetime...it will be meant to be. You'll wait for me, won't you, Hinata? I promise to come back for you when the time comes...but I expect you to be waiting. I'll come for you, and you'll wait for me. We didn't live happily ever after, but it's still a fairytale. But when we do live happily ever after, it will be our fairytale.

xXxXxXx

A/N. There could be lots of morals for this story, but I can only name two of them. x3

Moral 1: You don't appreciate something until you lose it.

Moral 2: Stop thinking about yourself. There are many others out there who are suffering as much or even more than you.