Hold Me

By: Bill the Cat Loves Clorith

A/N: Finally I write a one shot with my fav Naruto pairing that would so totally work. –stabs Temari-

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She was near the breaking point. Precariously near the depths of sanity. Angry words raced through her bruised mind, loud tones scorched her ears and worst of all, disheartening statements crushed her heart.

Hyuuga Hinata wanted nothing more than to please her father. She had always been obsolete with her quivering lips and shy appearance. Her father would merely frown and reveal his displeasure in mumbled comments to whomever else was in the room. His tone would widen her opal eyes to the point of discomfort, yet all she could do was apologize and leave.

Her fist collided heavily with the splintered wood, chips digging into her already bleeding knuckles. Her jacket had long since been discarded; a symbol of her failure. A second fist entered the same spot, colliding shrilly as a fresh wound was unleashed. She refused to cry out, merely depending on her bleeding bottom lip as a means to stifle her weakness. The large chunk of wood sat innocently taking Hinata's beatings. It was there for everyone's training pleasure. But to Hinata, it was what would make her accepted.

Even her team believed her unnoticeable. Her long time crush on Kiba had dwindled to mere shyness, as the dog man never even took a notice to her. Even Shino, the boy she mildly crushed on was completely unaware to any of her feelings.

She thrust an angry fist out again at the thought of Naruto. A cry escaped her lips as she felt something crack. She had hit too hard. Stopping to analyze the blood caked knuckles, she sobbed quietly at remembering the kitsune. She loved the boy with all her heart and though it was cute how oblivious he was, it was starting to break her heart. He had encouraged her, given her hope, and finally recognized her as a Nin of Konoha. Anything beyond that flew right passed his adorably cute blonde head. Hinata rubbed her eyes furiously and stifled a gasp as her fist rubbed her cheekbone. Two of her knuckles were broken.

Panting, the milky-eyed girl squeezed her eyes shut and thrust the uninjured fist at the wood as hard as she could. A scream made it through her persistent tightly lipped frown as her wrist broke. Dropping to the ground, Hinata cradled both hands tenderly all the while clenching her lips together so as not to make a sound. Kicking her feet at the intense pain rocketing through her arms, she couldn't help but compare it to the day of her rejection from the one she loved most.

Flash back

The shy navy haired girl raised a trembling fist extremely hesitantly up to the dark wood of a door. Bringing it back swiftly she chided herself and tried again. Rapping half heartedly, she clenched her fists under her chin to keep them from trembling and waited. Half a minute later many 'hai, I'm coming ensued.' And before the girl was even ready the door swung open revealing a pair of bright cerulean irises. Naruto smiled warmly.

"Hello Hinata-chan, what brings you here?" The kitsune asked bemusedly, curving his features into a fox like grin. The girl's eyes widened frightfully as a crimson trail ran across her cheeks.

"Konbanwa N-Naruto-kun…I-I'm here to t-tell you something…" She began hesitantly. The blonde boy waited politely as Hinata grabbed at wits that seemed to have scattered right as the fox boy opened the door. Taking a deep breath, Hinata muttered "Ireallylikeyou…"

Naruto tilted his head to the side in innocent confusion.

"Eh? I couldn't understand you Hinata-chan!"

She took another deep breath.

"I… I love you…"

Naruto's smile straightened immediately as he gazed in shock at the girl's bowed head. She was trembling throughout her entire body as Naruto's shock took hold of him for what seemed like hours. Finally, the kitsune placed a hesitant hand on her shoulder to avert her attention. She didn't look up but froze immediately.

"Hinata-chan… I like you a lot. You are a wonderful friend. But, I don't think it could ever be more than that…" He whispered apologetically. Tears had already lined her clenched eyes even before he was finished. Blinking rapidly, she began to speak again.

"O-o-okay, I u-understand… I-I'll see you a-around…" With that statement, she flung herself around and ran in the opposite direction. Naruto had called out desperately, but her mind was screaming too much to care.

"N-N-Naruto-kun…"

End flashback

Tears raining down her pale trembling face, Hinata released an ear splitting scream. The pain in her hands was mind numbing but nothing compared to the screaming anguish in her heart. She curled tightly into a ball weeping mercilessly as she waiting for everything to go numb.

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Deep in the forest a certain shadow ninja was training alone. Flashes of dark could be seen as shadows extended unrealistically. Suddenly, a tall pony tailed boy emerged from a shadow and did a back flip. Flinging several shuriken, the chunin of age 13 landed expertly on the ground. Suddenly a scream shattered his attention dragging his coal irises towards the sound. Shikamaru took one glance at his training spot and sped off.

He soon reached a clearing with a tree and one lone trunk extended out of the ground. The wood was chipped and peeling, obviously used as a training device. He cringed at the sight of blood also staining its parched surface. Glancing down he noticed a small shivering form weeping pitifully. Eyes widening in panic, the lazy Nin raced towards them and gently uncurled the form. He quickly deduced it as Hinata by her unusual hair. He also noticed the two pale hands; one bleeding and the other limp and swelling rapidly.

"Hinata!" He called hoarsely. Seeing the young kunoichi in such a state of absolute rock bottom stung his heart more than he realized. The pale-faced girl opened impossibly white irises uncertainly. Tears lingered on her high cheeks while fresh ones spilled rhythmically downward. She looked up higher to the dark concerned gaze.

"S-Shikamaru-san?" She whispered. He made a strangled noise and whipped his head around to face the forest. He frowned deeply at his deduction. He couldn't leave her there. Something obviously happened. But taking her to his house, caring for her and seeing what was wrong generally ended up in the 'troublesome' category. Glancing back at the pale girl weeping silently at his feet, he growled. 'Who cares,' he mentally remarked before tenderly scooping the girl up and running back into the forest.

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Racing up his stairs so as not to attract unwanted attention from his parents, Shikamaru kicked open his bedroom door and swiftly crossed it to his bed. Gently laying the now unconscious girl onto it, he dashed into the bathroom to find supplies. He located a few gauzes and even a few splints and hurried back into the room. Placing the items onto his nightstand, he glanced at her unmoving body and observed that she was still out cold. Discarding his chunin vest and running a hand over his sweaty brow, he raced back downstairs to fetch a glass of water. Luckily no one was in the kitchen to disturb him as he quickly snatched a glass and filled it to the brim with purified water. Once done, he steadily paced back up the stairs so as not to spill it and entered his room again. Hinata was exactly as he left her. Sighing, he approached his bedside.

"Hinata? Hinata, wake up," He reproached, gently shaking the girl. She didn't budge. He tried calling her name a few more times having the same effect. Setting the glass down next to his other supplies, he glanced over her body. Her face was pale and strewn with tears with a few streaks of blood. Her arms were bruising steadily upward extending to her wrists where one was swollen and both hands bleeding. He frowned sadly as he marveled at her state.

"Something bad must have happened…" He mumbled reaching a finger out to lightly touch the swollen wrist. Hinata suddenly flew forward with a cry of pain, cradling the offended wrist.

"Oh gosh I'm sorry! Here, drink this," Shikamaru stuttered, handing the glass to the feeble young Nin. She looked at him cautiously before glancing at her hands.

"I can't hold it…" She whispered. He too then looked at her hands and grumbled.

"Gosh I'm sorry. Here, let me…" He muttered apologetically shifting father onto the bed over her. He held the glass to her lips and she nodded. Shikamaru tilted the crystal container ever so slightly so as not to drown Hinata. After a few swallows, she turned her head to signal she was done. He didn't take his eyes off her as he put the cup back and retrieved his medical garbs. She gave a tiny gasp.

"Shikamaru-san, why are you helping me?" She asked cautiously, her milky eyes wide in curiosity. A little stunned at the question, Shikamaru couldn't help but wonder why his heart suddenly sped up at her adorable expression. Bowing his head, he picked up the splints and tenderly reached for her broken wrist.

"You were in need," He said simply. She allowed him her wrist as he set each splint in place and began wrapping them tightly with gauze. She looked down as well. She knew that no ninja would leave a person in need, yet it felt empty that that would be the only reason why the lazy Nin would help her. Her eyes widened at the sudden thought. He never really helped anybody. It would always be too troublesome! And even if he did, he would more than likely take them home or to a hospital. Glancing up she noticed that a tiny dash of pink made it unceremoniously onto his cheeks, which he was so desperate to hide. She gasped as the realization hit her.

Shikamaru glanced at her other injured hand after he finished her wrist and mentally cursed for not getting cleaning remedies. Quickly sitting up, he walked into his bathroom to scour the cupboard for alcohol.

"Uh Shikamaru? You aren't planning on using alcohol are you?" Hinata asked quietly. He poked his head out the door with a serious look.

"Of course I am. Cleans the germs the best," He remarked simply. She bit her swollen bottom lip and made a silent oath not to cry. Finally coming back in with a big bottle of the hurts-like-hell liquid and a handful of tissues, Shikamaru reached for her other injured hand which she pulled back abruptly. He frowned.

"Come on Hinata, it's going to get infected," He admonished, flicking his flingers towards him in an effort to bring her hand to him. She shook her head, eyes wide.

"It hurts though…" She offered. He sighed while muttering 'troublesome'. For some reason that word hit Hinata harder than she did the wood creasing her face into a look of absolute hurt. Shikamaru noticed quickly, clenching his jaw together as if to compensate. 'I take it back…'

"D-Do you r-really think I-I'm troublesome?" Hinata asked quietly, gazing down into her lap. Shikamaru's lips parted slightly, stunned at her forwardness. His eyes softened considerably as he gazed at her limp form.

"No… I'm sorry for saying so. Hinata, if there is any girl that isn't troublesome, it's you,"

Hinata's silver orbs shone dramatically as her head shot up, stunned at the words. Almost as if he just realized what he said, Shikamaru bit his lip and turned away.

"That is… just let me clean your hand," He grumbled agitatedly. Hinata's heart rose at the sight of a clear blush staining the boy's face. She delicately placed her hand on his knee as a sign of surrender. He turned back and glanced at her hand. Tenthly looking back into her eyes, he noticed that the look she had practically begged 'be gentle'. He uncapped the bottle and poured the liquid into a few tissues. Deducing a good place to start, he delicately placed the wet surface on her raw flesh. A shrill squeak was emitted from the recipient of the treatment followed by occasional whimpers as Shikamaru moved the cloth over each open area. When he was finished, Shikamaru breathed a sigh he didn't even know he was holding. Capping the bottle again, he put it back on the nightstand and grabbed a new roll of gauze. Placing a thin sheet of medical aid over the raw area, he swiftly began wrapping the wound. A giggle interrupted his ministrations.

"You are so sweet Shikamaru-san…" Hinata remarked, gingerly placing her broken hand on her thigh. He frowned knowing that a blush was already flooding his cheeks. 'And here I thought I was distracting her…'

"Eh… sure…" He replied dumbly. This entitled another giggle. Finishing the wrap he looked up at her in annoyance.

"The incessant giggling! What provokes it?"

This caused her to burst into a new fit of giggles. The lazy chunin growled and closed his eyes. 'This girl… I thought she was shy?' He pondered as he opened his eyes again. Hinata was calm yet a soft smile lingered on her lips. His heart sped up at the sight of the shy girl's serene expression. 'I can't believe how different she is from the other kunoichi…'

"Hinata, why were you hurt?" Shikamaru asked quickly trying to chase away all the sudden thoughts. As if on cue, her grin straightened into a look of horror. She opened her mouth only to close it again, deciding not to speak.

"I'd rather not say…" She mumbled. He frowned. 'Something is amiss here'.

"Now now, I took care of you so I believe I at least deserve to know," He pushed, switching to sitting in a cross-legged position. She frowned heavily and turned her head.

"Does accidental self infliction make sense?" She asked quietly. Shikamaru's coal eyes widened marginally at the response. Before he could stop himself, he swiftly grabbed her chin and turn her frightened expression to meet his.

"What happened," He stated rather than asked. Hinata searched over his hardened expression and finally gave into his demands.

"I was training and all I could think about was how my father thought I was a failure. And how… so many people ignore me. I liked several people and they never noticed… while thinking about them, I accidentally punched too hard and broke my knuckles…but then I thought about…" She paused her mouth refusing to continue. Shikamaru leaned forward anxiously.

"Thought about…?"

"N-Naruto-k-kun's… r-r-rejection… I lost it and punched so hard my wrist snapped. I refused to scream but then I re-remembered it and…" Tears were falling so fast that residue began choking her voice box. She closed her eyes and whimpered pathetically. Shikamaru's brow furrowed so closely together in concern that it actually made him tear up. Without thinking a second thought, he gently gathered the trembling girl in his arms.

Hinata's eyes snapped open in alarm as the older boy hugged her tightly yet gently. She could feel the compassion in the way his arms circled her almost lovingly. He rested his cheek atop her head and began rocking her slightly.

"It's okay Hinata… he doesn't deserve you…" He whispered calmly, stroking her hair. A shiver raced up her spine at his words filling in the subtle hints he seemed to have thrown at her. She didn't want to shatter the peaceful moment, but she had to know.

"Shikamaru, do you…do you…" She tried but found that yet again her voice failed her. He didn't move.

"Do I what, like you?" He finished almost knowingly. She blushed deeply at how well he read her thoughts.

"No Hinata, I don't like you." She froze as the world came crashing around her.

"I love you."

She emitted a soft gasp at his confession. She had always secretly had a crush on the shadow boy, but never really delved into him because of his and Temari's almost relationship. It had become apart later that he actually merely respected her as a ninja and never wanted to pursue her. What she didn't understand is why she didn't have to confess to him first. He chuckled.

"I bet you're wondering why. I know it seems out of the blue, but I've actually liked you for a long time. I never really tried though because I always found girls troublesome. But you… Hinata-chan, you are not troublesome," He explained, tilting his head back slightly. Recognizing it as her cue, she bent back also to stare in his eyes. Those deep brown orbs that she never really got the chance to fall into. She was too busy gazing into the depths of infinity for her to notice him lean down just close enough for their lips to brush. The kiss was so featherlike it seemed surreal. Unwittingly she closed her eyes and sighed ever so softly.

"I… I love you too…" She whispered, her mind cementing the feeling of his lips into her memory. Taking it as a positive sign, Shikamaru kissed her again, deeper this time. Their lips met fully for a few fragile seconds, so close yet so gentle. He went to pull back, but Hinata leaned forward, keeping the contact. Giving in, Shikamaru kissed her even more passionately, placing a hand on her neck to work the lip-lock. Hinata moaned in bliss, relishing in the full gentle lips caressing her own. Finally, after a few more moments of pent up emotions and needs, they pulled away, breathing slightly heavier. Shikamaru ran a hand across her cheek lovingly and smiled serenely.

"Hinata-chan…" He sighed, adoring the cuteness of her name. She smiled too loving how her name sounded from his lips.

"Shikamaru-kun…" The shadow boy almost downright kissed her again. Her sweet voice uttering his name affectionately made him want to confess all over again.

"I think I understand why dad likes mom now," He stated softly. Hinata blinked for a second then laughed out loud. He sure knew exactly how to humor a moment. Calming down, Hinata smiled again.

"I think we should take you to a hospital now," Shikamaru proclaimed glancing at her injuries. Puffing out her lower lip, Hinata pouted.

"I think you did a good job…" She replied cutely. He grinned and petted her hair again.

"I think we need to get you a cast though. And some pain medication. I'm surprised it hasn't hurt you lately,"

"I guess it messed up some nerves and finally stopped hurting while I was unconscious,"

"Even more reason for professionals to see it,"

"Oh, okay then. We'll go,"

Hinata stood up and awkwardly tried to cradle both hands in her arms. The action received another soft smile from the chunin. He stood up as well and leaned forward so their foreheads met. A blush spread across Hinata's cheeks at the proximity.

"Hey Hinata-chan?"

"Y-yes Sh-Shikamaru-kun?"

"Aren't you glad Naruto is your friend and only your friend?"

Hinata searched his irises quickly and saw a hidden meaning. Smiling, she nodded.

"I am. There is someone I love much more than Naruto,"

"Oh and who might that be?"

"Oh, he's lazy and pouty and has a weird ponytail—hey ow!" Hinata giggled as Shikamaru pinched her arm annoyed.

"But he's also sweet and kind and a really good kisser,"

"Hmm, he sure is lucky to have you,"

"And I am lucky to have him,"

Without a second thought, both reached for a kiss at the same time.

And the rest of the story goes without cheapened by mere words. Love ensued in its purest form.

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A/N: Yay! I had this idea rolling around in the noodle for like ever so I hope you enjoyed it! R/R!

Love Billie