Summer Rain

Written by Celtic Warrior (I always wanted to say that!)

Hinata Hyuuga seemed so frail and fragile, as if one unkind word could shatter her like glass. She stammered when she talked, and was always so uncertain about almost everything that she did. Almost everything. If there was one thing that she was confident about, it was the fact that she was mentally stronger than most girls.

It wasn't like she was particularly pretty or anything. Sasuke had to admit, she was nice-looking. Hinata had a quiet sense of style; the clothes she wore smoothly reflected her lavender-white eyes and pale skin. Her silly crush on Naruto was a childhood obsession that she had been afraid to get rid of. Every since she was eight years old Sasuke noticed the way she looked at Naruto. That was also the same time that Sasuke became the class heartthrob. Girls fell over themselves to do things for him, rivals were formed (take Sakura and Ino for example), and Sasuke had to increase his substitution jutsu to get away from them all. He didn't have time to think about Hinata Hyuuga; in fact, he forgot that she existed. And the only time he had to himself was when he was training or walking home.

It was a cloudy day—Sasuke expected that it would rain. He sighed. Summer rains: you can never predict them. He wouldn't be training this evening, that was for sure. Sasuke was walking home from school, hands in his pockets as usual, eyes fixed on the pavement. He didn't notice Hinata walking next to him, until she spoke.

"G-Good a-afternoon, Sasuke-kun," she said.

"Hm?" Sasuke said, lost in his thoughts. "Oh, hi, Hinata. I didn't see you."

"Th-that's okay, S-Sasuke-kun."

There was an awkward silence. Finally Sasuke said coolly, "Who are your team mates again?"

"Ah…Kiba and Shino. K-Kiba-kun is nice, but Shino is a little weird."

Sasuke almost laughed. "That's what everyone says about him. I'm stuck with stupid fangirl Sakura Haruno and village idiot Naruto Uzamaki." It was only after he said this that Sasuke remembered Hinata's crush. But she didn't seem very fazed at the comment—in fact, she was as calm as ever.

"Naruto-kun may act s-stupid s-sometimes," Hinata said, "but he's actually q-quite smart a-and determined. A-And I think h-he's sweet."

"I forgot you had a crush on him."

"I d-don't anymore, S-Sasuke-kun," Hinata said. "B-but I do like him…I g-guess my old f-feelings for him d-disappeared, but I didn't want to let go…"

Sasuke's dark eyes blinked in confusion. He hadn't expected that type of answer from the quiet, shy Hyuuga girl. He didn't know what to say. Once again an awkward silence grew between them. Hinata pressed her fingers together and looked down.

A few drops of rain fell from the sky. Sasuke stopped walking and looked up. "I knew it would rain today," he muttered blandly. "I won't have time for training…That sucks." He was talking to himself, and didn't expect Hinata to answer him. But she did.

Hinata smiled and said, "You sound just like Shikamaru, S-Sasuke-kun."

"Oh, please. I don't sound anything like that lazy excuse for a ninja."

Hinata continued to smile, and Sasuke realized how…Pretty she looked when she was smiling. He wished that she would do it more often—she always appeared to be sad and unconfident. But maybe that's just how she is.

"Sasuke-kun…" Hinata said softly, "Do you m-mind if I a-ask you something?"

"You just did, but go ahead."

"Why do want to become a ninja? E-Everyone says that you're the number one rookie ninja…You always w-work so h-hard."

"…I need to become strong. A lot stronger than I am now. Strong enough…to kill someone. A certain someone, and I promised myself that I'll become stronger than him and kill him."

"Who is it?"

"My brother, Uchiha Itachi."

Sasuke never told anyone who he wanted—no, needed to kill. He never even told anyone that he needed to kill someone. No one asked him why he wanted to be the number one ninja, and he probably wouldn't have told him. Why did he tell Hinata, then? Tell her so freely and without even a second thought? Perhaps it was because she was so trusting…Or maybe he guessed that she already knew, and saw no harm in telling her. Or…Maybe he was falling in—that was ridiculous.

"S-Sasuke-kun? You were spacing out."

"Sorry. Hinata, why do you want to become a ninja?"

"…The same reason as you. I don't want to k-kill a-anyone, but…I w-want to become s-stronger…Everyone thinks that I'm w-weak, that I c-can't take care of myself…Neji d-doesn't believe that I c-can become a shinobi, a-and he'd been t-telling me s-so ever since I j-joined the academy…I w-want to show Neji and everyone else that I'm not as weak as they think. I'm part of the main branch of the Hyuuga family, and I have a lot more responsibility…And not only do I want to prove it to all of my classmates, I want to p-prove to myself that I can become a great shinobi, too."

"…Wow." Was all Sasuke could say. Once again Hinata bowed her head, her courage failing her to speak anymore. A light rain was falling from the dark sky.

"That is…Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to become a ninja," Sasuke said. "Naruto wants to become Hokage so that everybody will respect him for once. I want to avenge my family. And you…You simply want to get stronger, and prove that you aren't a weakling. Not only to yourself, but to all of the rookies."

"Yes…"

"That's a good reason. It's better than mine."

"No, it isn't," Hinata said. "No one's reasons are better. There all the same, in a way. A dream that we want to make reality by becoming ninja. And if you keep training—getting stronger and smarter with each passing day—then perhaps you will make that dream a reality."

"Hinata," Sasuke said, then stopped. What was he going to say? How he had always secretly liked her, but was forced to forget her because of his training? "Hinata…"

"What is it, Sasuke-kun?"

"…Oh, it's nothing. You should go home, the rain's starting to fall harder. You wouldn't want to get all wet."

"T-Thanks for your concern, Sasuke-kun. My house is near yours; we could walk together."

"…Sure…"

They continued to walk slowly until they got to the end of the block, which skirted the edges of the Konoha Forest. It was, after all, the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Sasuke glanced at Hinata, and then grasped her hand protectively in his own.

"Sasuke-kun?" Hinata said, stopping.

"Hinata…I've always…liked you. I guess you could say I had a crush on you, but I didn't even realize it. Sometimes I would find myself thinking about you, because you're different from other girls. You're smarter, and you're quiet, but that doesn't mean that you aren't strong. You are strong, Hinata. Very strong. I respect you…and…I…I love you."

"Sasuke-kun…L-Love is a very strong word…Are you sure?"

Sasuke hesitated, but only for a moment to go through his thoughts. "I'm sure…Hinata."

Hinata grinned. "Sasuke-kun…You are very strong as well. I hope that your dreams become true…I hope that you avenge your family like you want to…And…I, um, I love you too."

And then Hinata pressed a small, soft kiss against Sasuke's cheek. Blushing, she quickly ran towards the direction of her house. Sasuke touched his cheek without noticing what he was doing. Once again he slipped his hands into his pockets, started walking, and stared at the pavement before him. The rain was falling, plastering his black hair to his head and drenching his clothes. But he was smiling. Not a full, super-happy-to-be-alive smile, but a small grin that lightly played across his lips and brightened up his normally tightened face.

You also are a lot better when you smile, Sasuke, Hinata thought. Remember…Dare to dream, dare to fly, dare to be the ever-chosen one to touch the sky. That's what my mother always told me…And what I want to tell you…

Author's Notes:

This is my first attempt at SasuHina. I tried to keep Hinata and Sasuke in character, but I think along some lines I failed. Please forgive me for that, I don't have much experience writing romance XP

This is a one-shot. And by the way, I'm thinking about deleting my Airbender Girl story. Or at least changing it. And I really want to update Sora Means Sky but I'm not good at writing fighting scenes…GAH! MY LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IS SO ANNOYING!

I don't think the ending is very good. Like I said before, I have next to no experience writing romance…