Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

A/N. Happy Late Birthday, Sasuke. x3

Yes, this one-shot is rather cheesy and lame. x33 I was inspired by the scene with Berry and Nasuku in the last volume of Tokyo Mew Mew. xDD

Please review. x333

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"Hanabi, have you seen Hinata?" Hyuuga Hiashi's pale eyes regarded his youngest daughter questioningly. Hanabi shook her head in reply and surveyed the area briefly, but could not find any traces of her sister. She looked back at her father solemnly, her expression looking almost exactly like his.

"I don't know where she is, Father."

Hiashi's brow furrowed as a deep frown etched his features. "She must have run off and cried her eyes out..." he muttered, recalling how she had cried and run off at the sight of her mother's coffin being buried into the ground. "She is far too fragile and weak..." Hiashi's voice trailed off as he stared off into the distance vaguely.

xXxXxXxXx

9-year old Uchiha Sasuke watched from a short distance away, his eyes narrowed. He wasn't a fool. He could see the sorrow and bitterness in Hiashi's eyes at the memory of his deceased wife. But Hinata was perhaps taking much harder than her own father...much harder.

Sasuke closed his eyes, picturing the scene where Hinata's orbs of moonstone clashed with his before she disappeared from sight. Those sad eyes made his heart ache. He hated to see his friend in such distress.

Friend...?

Sasuke frowned. Yes...Hinata was his friend. Even though he isolated himself from the world, he still thought of Hinata as his best and only friend. She was the only one who understood him...who liked him for him.

He had a secret. He loved Hinata. Not that pathetic love that his fangirls claimed to have for him...but a different kind of love. A love for who Hinata truly was, not what she seemed to be.

But he could never have her...because she was in love with Uzumaki Naruto, a hyper-active boy whom he shared a friendship-rivalry bond with. But just as he was denied happiness and love, Hinata was denied the joy of loving someone and having them love her back...because Naruto had feelings for Haruno Sakura, who had feelings for Sasuke.

Sasuke could never see Hinata happy...and because of that, he was never happy himself. Even if Naruto was the one who could make her happy, Sasuke would willingly give up everything and allow it to happen. All he wanted was for Hinata to be happy.

Perhaps she didn't think of him the way he thought of her...but they were still friends. And friends look out for each other and help each other go through rough times, right?

Sasuke turned and took off in the direction where Hinata had went. He knew where she might be right now, the place she always turned to for comfort...

Sasuke's eyes narrowed. Hiashi was wrong. She wasn't weak. Fragile, perhaps, but not weak. Just...human.

xXxXxXx

Hyuuga Hinata sobbed quietly, her tear-streaked face buried in her arms. Everyone called it losing her mother, but she wasn't lost. She was gone...gone forever. Even if she searched far and wide for her mother, she wouldn't find her. She was gone...forever.

Hinata didn't care if she had made a spectacle of herself when she wept during her mother's funeral. She remembered Hiashi placing his arms around her in an awkward hug, her face pressed into his chest. She had thought he was trying to comfort her, but after a moment of thinking, she realized that he was only trying to muffle her sobs. Frustrated that he could not, Hiashi had released her and sharply told her to leave until she could stop her foolish, weak tears.

And here she was...sitting in her sanctuary, crying, every drop of tear bringing back a joyous memory she had shared with her beloved mother...every drop of tear symbolizing the times they could never share again.

Hinata cried on and on. Why did her mother have to die? She hadn't done anything wrong. Why did she have to be taken away? It wasn't fair...it just wasn't fair.

"There you are."

A deep voice made its way through the rampage of thoughts flooding into her mind and the rivers of tears that streamed down her face. Hinata stifled a sob as she slowly lifted her head, her glassy eyes widening slightly at the boy in front of her.

"S-S-Sas-s-uke?" Hinata managed to muster, her tiny voice dripped into a teary tone. She lowered her eyes to the ground, a bit ashamed that she was crying in front of Uchiha Sasuke.

Sasuke cocked his head slightly. "Your father was looking for you," he stated solemnly. "Did you want him to worry?"

Hinata blinked, the force of her eyelids brushing away a tear. "I-I'm s-s-sorry," she apologized softly. "T-Tell him I-I'm a-all right...and he has n-no reason to worry about m-me."

"...You intend to stay here a bit longer?"

"J-Just a little longer..." Hinata turned away and lowered her eyes to the ground, giving a soft sniffle. "I'm alone...and I need someone...I need...her...but...she's not here."

"What?" Sasuke's eyes widened ever so slightly in confusion, but inside, he believed he knew what she meant.

"My mother...I need...my mother." Hinata hung her head low, casting a shadow over her eyes. Even so, he could still see the tears that rolled down her milky face. His eyes softened, and his heart ached to see such his friend in such pain.

"Whenever I needed comfort..." Hinata continued sadly. The tears continued to roll down her face, but the stammer in her voice seemed to have vanished. "Whenever I got lonely...my mother always gave me a big hug. Even though sometimes I felt hopeless and really empty, I would feel happy whenever my mother hugged me...because I knew that even when life seemed harsh, there was always someone who cared about me.

"I'm really lonely now, but she's not here to give me a hug. My mother can never give me a hug again...she's gone...she's gone forever."

Sasuke's lower lip quivered slightly as his eyes grew misty with slight tears. Hinata was lonely...but he couldn't do anything about it. What could he do? He couldn't bring her mother back. But...

Maybe it was just like Hinata said. Even when life seems harsh, a simple hug could brighten one's world because they know that there is always someone who cares.

Suddenly, without even thinking, he knelt beside the blue-haired Hyuuga and threw his arms around her petite form, clinging onto her tightly.

"Hinata...!"

Hinata's eyes widened in shock as she turned her head awkwardly in an attempt to look at his face. "S-S-S-Sasuke?" she stammered softly. "Wh-why are you hugging me?"

"Because I'm your friend...and you're my friend! We'll always be friends, won't we? So why can't I hug you?"

Hinata sniffled as she wrapped her arms around Sasuke, clinging onto him tightly. "P-Promise? Do y-you...promise to be my f-friend forever, S-Sasuke?" she asked sadly, tears spilling out of her eyes and sinking into the fabric of his shirt.

"Yes! I-I promise, Hinata! I promise I won't ever...ever leave you! A-and...if you ever need comfort...or if you get lonely...I'll give you a hug! I'll hug you everyday if you want to, Hinata...! Even if you don't want me to hug you, I always will...I promise...!"

Sasuke was shocked and surprised at himself for saying things that people thought he wasn't capable of speaking. But the words had escaped his lips, and he couldn't shove them back in. Yet when he saw the smile on Hinata's face, his heart swelled with pleasure and joy know that he had been there for her when she needed him.

"I-I..." Hinata closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder gently. "I'd like that...but...Sasuke...would you still hug me and be my friend...no matter what? Even if I marry someone else...or if I upset you...w-would you still h-hug me, S-Sasuke?"

She looked up from his shoulder and her teary eyes gazed pleadingly at him. His eyes softened as he swallowed his envy and forced a small smile.

"Yeah. And...I promise that I'll always be your friend...no matter what."

Nothing she did could ever upset him. Even if she married someone else, even Naruto, he would not be upset with her...but with himself. But his jealousy and sadness wouldn't get in the way of their friendship...and her happiness. He would be there for her when she needed him. It was a promise he intended to keep, no matter what.

Hinata closed her eyes and leaned her head against his. "T-Thank you, S-Sasuke..."

Sasuke smiled softly. Perhaps it would take time for Hinata to pick the pieces and put herself back together. But the least he could do for her was be there for her and show her he cared.

It would take some time, he thought, but for every hug he would give her, he would promise to bring back the happiness in her heart and that smile of hers.

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3 Years Later...

"Good morning, Sasuke."

Hinata smiled at him, but he didn't smile back. He just nodded to acknowledge her presence, but said nothing more. He jammed his hands into his pockets and stared off into the distance, feeling the cool breeze brush against his face.

Hinata cocked her head to the side, her moonstone eyes regarding him with concern. Something must be wrong if he didn't hug her. Of course, he only hugged her when no one was around, but the area was empty. But she could see a sorrowful pain in his eyes, similiar to the sadness she felt that day at her mother's funeral.

"Are you okay, S-Sasuke?" she asked worriedly.

Sasuke closed his eyes and turned away. "...My parents died..." he murmured quietly.

Hinata's eyes widened before she closed them as well. Clasping her hands together, she whispered sadly, "I-I'm sorry, S-Sasuke."

"Don't be."

She bit the inside of her lip, wishing she could do something to take his pain away. She understood how he felt, but she didn't know what exactly to do. Remembering what Sasuke did for her when her mother died, Hinata opened her eyes and gazed at his back. "S-Sasuke..." she called gently.

"Yeah?" Sasuke turned, only to feel Hinata's arms throw themselves around him in a warm embrace. His eyes widened and he looked down at her in stun. "H-Hinata?"

Hinata hugged him tightly. "You need a hug...don't you, S-Sasuke?" she whispered, pressing her cheek into his dark locks. "This t-time...instead of recieving a hug from you...I will be the o-one to give you a hug.

"I promise you that I'll h-hug you everyday, S-Sasuke. M-Maybe it won't be enough to make the pain go away, but at least it will show you I-I care. With every h-hug I give you, I p-promise to bring that smile back, Sasuke."

Sasuke closed his eyes as he wrapped his arms around her as well. "Thank you, Hinata."

They smiled.

Lonely hearts, once empty, found happiness and love in each other's soul.