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Summary: Naruto has been gone from Hinata's life for three years. What happens when he returns and finds her, alone, in a clearing, singing a song for him?

Disclaimer: blah blah blah, me no own, blah blah blah, me no paid, blah blah blah, you no sue.

"talking"

"thoughts"

flashback

lyrics


Shine Your Light

By: SE Uchiha


Three years had passed since she last saw him. 156 weeks since her eyes last beheld his crystal clear blue orbs. 1095¾ days since his yellow blond hair disappeared from her view. And dare she say it; she loved and missed the obnoxious, loud-mouthed ninja. Yes, Hyuga Hinata, the heiress to Konoha's most prestigious clan, loved Uzumaki Naruto, the Kyuubi boy, more than anything, or anyone, else. If only she could find the courage to tell him.

She sat alone, in the center of her "private" training ground, a top a large boulder that jutted forth from the earth's soil. Whenever Hinata ceased her daily training, she would rest on that one rock, just like she was doing now, and think about him. Hinata knew that he was going to return, but she couldn't stop herself from missing him and worrying about him. It felt as if she would never see him again. Like he was dead, never to be heard from or seen again. She was unable to keep this feeling from pervading her thoughts.

---

Six days ago, the Spring Carnival came around. Hinata, who was unable to get a date (since she only wanted to go with him), went to the festival alone. No matter how she tried to enjoy the festivities, every time she saw a couple walking together, her heart sank. As Ino and Shikamaru passed by, she hung her head in an attempt to hide the tears forming in her pearly eyes. She turned to scurry away from the carnival, but she slowed when sobs reached her ears. Curious, she followed the through the empty streets. The lamentable sound grew louder as she approached the gates of Konoha. "Who could it be?" she thought, "And why are they near the gates at this time?"

A bench and a hunched figure appeared in the distance. Hinata picked up her pace when she recognized the figure. Pink tresses hung over the person's face, obscuring it from view. She didn't need to see their face to know who they were. Only one person in Konoha, who was still living, had that rosette-pink hair. Haruno Sakura.

She sat on the bench, head in her hands. Tears streamed down her face before dripping to the ground, only to be absorbed as if they were never there. Careful not to disturb her friend, Hinata walked over and sat down beside Sakura. "What's wrong Sakura-san?" she questioned quietly.

"Its Sasuke-kun." Sakura choked out.

"Oh." mumbled Hinata. She understood all too well how she felt. Just like Hinata, Sakura missed the one she loved. The Hyuga heiress stayed and patted on her shoulder softly till her sobs ceased. "Don't worry. You'll see him again." Hinata whispered. This was all she could do to console her friend. Slowly she stood and said a quiet goodbye to the pink-haired kunoichi.

"Arigato, Hinata-chan." replied Sakura, tears still shone in her emerald eyes as a wistful formed on her face. Hinata nodded and walked away, a sorrowful smile contradicting her otherwise joyous countenance. Moments later, she found herself wandering through the forest. The moon was high in the midnight sky when she reached an open clearing, the same one she was currently sitting in.

---

Her gaze aimlessly surveyed the opening that encompassed her. The moonlight cast a soft, unearthly glow upon the forest and her, and reflected off the dew collected on the grass, producing a diamond-like sparkle. A celestial scene unnoticed by the rest of the world. The rock Hinata sat upon radiated a light silver, only adding to the spectacular display. Sadness welled up within her as she thought of her 'Naruto-kun'. The laughter of the carnival-goers reached her ears and stabbed at her heart like a hundred kunais. To drown out the sound of happiness she longed for whole-heartedly, Hinata began to sing one of the songs she had heard after the Sandaime's funeral. (this song, in reality, wasn't played but for the sake of the story, lets pretend it was)

The cry of the city like a siren's song
Wailing over the rooftops the whole night long

Images of her past filled Hinata's mind as she sang to the stars that mocked her with their glee. A star streaked across the sky overhead, a tear shed by the gods to show their sympathy for the heartbroken girl

Saw a shooting star like a diamond in the sky
Must be someone's soul passing by

These are the streets
Where we used to run where your Papa's from
These are the days
Where you become what you become

She could remember the places where they used to play as children, her and Naruto excluded. They were outcasts; those no one was friends with. She had been weaker then, and still was now, but she was stronger than she was before he left.

These are the streets
Where the story's told
The truth unfolds
Darkness settles in

Tear stained Hinata's face as she imagined Naruto's goofy grin. Sure it was lopsided and over-enthusiastic, but it always managed to warm her heart and her cheeks as well, to her mortification.

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so I can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength
To carry on, carry on

A strangled cry escaped her lips. The thought of never seeing Naruto again was unbearable. It broke not only her heart, but also her soul, to imagine what life would be like without him. A life without happiness and joy; a horrible life.

Don't wanna be a hero
Just an everyday man
Trying to do the job the very best he can
But now it's like living on borrowed time
Out on the rim, over the line

Her whimper filled the forest and caught the ears of an approaching shinobi. He cocked his head in the direction of the dispirited sound, only to hear it fused with mournful singing. Upon closer listening, he could infer that the singer was female. Excitement sparkled in his ocean blue eyes. He gathered chakra to his feet and sprinted towards the voice, but skidded to a stop when he recognized his currently preoccupied personal entertainer. Right in front of his eyes was the same girl he had seen dancing at the waterfall, but that was before he left to train with Jiraiya. Soon he had crept close enough to her the words of her painful song. It rang clear in his ears despite the fact that her back was to him.

Always tempting fate like a game of chance
Never wanna stick around to the very last dance
Sometimes I stumble and take a hard fall
Loose hold your grip off the wall

He gaped in wonder. The tone of her voice was low, but not masculine. His stomach churned when he noticed she was crying. How he longed to reach out and comfort her. To tell her not to be sad. To tell her he'd loved her since he'd first laid eyes on her that one angelic evening.

Suddenly she stood and leapt off the boulder that had momentarily acted as her perch. Soundlessly she landed on her feet and raised her head to serenade the heavens above. The lamenting tune sprung forth from her trembling lips in a soft, sultry tone.

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so I can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
Carry on

Hinata jumped of the large stone and looked up hopefully to the stars. She prayed they would heed her wish and that they would return him to her. As she finished the chorus for a second time her voice began to shake. Grief and sadness washed over her, obliterating all other emotions that stood in their way.

I thought I saw him walking
By the side of the road
Maybe trying to find his way home

The knot in Naruto's stomach grew tighter when her voice wavered. He couldn't comprehend why she was so depressed. The blonde shinobi felt an unsatiable need to know whom she was singing about. He rose to his feet to call out to her, but her froze. The dew collected into tiny droplets, rose off the grass, and swirled around her. Light glistened off the flowing liquid and, for a split second, it seemed she was encased in diamond. He winced as she resumed singing; her voice breaking consistently.

He's here but not here
He's gone but not gone
Just hope he knows if I get lost

The northern star twinkled in the corner of her vision. She twirled around and stopped to focus on it. Somehow, whenever she looked upon that one star, she felt he was close, whether he was or not. Hinata always felt as if that star was forever watching over her. She would follow it faithfully whenever she got lost, for she knew he would always lead her home. He had always been her guiding light, her northern star; he never once failed to show her the right path to follow.

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so I can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
Carry on

Hinata hummed until she reached the end of her song. Tears dripped to the forest floor as she sank to her knees, still gazing at the stars. Her sobbing only audible to her and her spectator.

One of the bushes behind her rustled quietly, alerting her to her unseen audience. Her back straightened and her limbs stiffened. The muscles in her legs grew taut, ready in case she had to run or fight. She rose slowly to her feet, but a voice stopped her movement, and nearly her heart along with it. The voice was all too familiar to her ears. She didn't turn around; she couldn't face him, not now, when she was too weak to even speak. She knew she would break down in tears the moment she saw his face.

"Hey! Are you alright?" Naruto asked as he stepped into view. The girl didn't respond vocally, but rather physically. She stiffened, her legs tensed, ready to help her run away. Naruto noticed this and he became desperate to stop her from leaving. "No! Don't leave!" he shouted, "It was wrong of me to spy on you, that I know, but can I at least talk to you. I've wanted to see you again, ever since I saw you at the waterfall."

His voice that once echoed round the clearing fell to a hushed whisper at the end of his apologetic speech. He stayed still at the edge of the trees, watching for a sign of her preparing to take off. He was going to stop her no matter what.

Hinata ceased moving when the word waterfall left his lips. It reminded her of how much she wanted him to know that the waterfall girl was her. Fresh tears streamed down her face at her newfound guilt and self-pity. Guilt for lying to Naruto and self-pity for being so weak that she couldn't even voice her own feelings. Her voice broke as she stuttered out a small "Hai" and lowered herself to the ground in a sitting position, still unable to face him.

Naruto froze when she spoke. Her voice was so familiar, yet he couldn't attach a face to the sound. Slowly and carefully he approached her, afraid to blink in fear that she would disappear and he would never see her again. He watched her closely as he neared, looking for any sign that she was going to run. Naruto was three feet from the girl when she tensed once more. Hesitantly, he joined her on the ground, trying to keep a good distance between, so as not to make the girl uncomfortable. Finally, Naruto broke the silence. "The name's Naruto. What's yours?" he asked enthusiastically.

Hinata, not wanting to reveal her identity, swallowed hard before answering. "You can call me Hina." she whispered, hiding her true self once more from the one she loved. Naruto's eyes brightened with newfound happiness when he finally learned the mystery girl's name. The name, however, seemed to ring a bell. Sure, Naruto was oblivious, but not to this extent. Something about this "Hina" was familiar, and Naruto knew he'd seen her more than once. Immediately he began to ask her about her appearance in order to see if the knowledge of her looks would aid his memory.

"Tell me 'Hina'. What color is you hair?" he asked, for the moonlight altered the color items appeared to be.

"Ink blue." she replied uncomfortably and almost silently. She knew he was trying to figure out who she was, and that did not bode well, to say the least. "W-Why?" she questioned, though the reason was obvious.

"Just asking," he paused, "Why were you singing that song? Isn't it the one they played at the Sandaime's funeral?" The girl replied with a silent nod. "Who died?" he asked. Naruto watched as the girl's head sank into her hands and she resumed sobbing.

"No one's dead...just my heart." she murmered the last part so quietly that he could barely make out her words. Despite her hushed tone, he heard her. Pain flashed across his eyes and dulled them to a pale blue. "The one I care for most left me here, all alone, three years ago. And I think it's because he loved another woman more than me." Tears poured from her eyes at own heart-wrenching admission. "The festival reminded me of him, some I came here to get away from it. The next thing I knew I was here and I was singing." Her boldness grew and her emotional strength waned with her every word.

"I have to get out of here. I can't speak to hime much longer without revealing myself." Hinata wiped the tears fom her eyes, rose and turned to leave. Naruto reached out to stop her but she cut him off.

"G-Goodbye, Naruto-kun." she choked out. Quicklt she collected chakra to her feet and launched into the forest, hoping she could avoid what her conscience was telling her. "Naruto loves Sakura, not you. He left so he could fulfill his promise to her and to win her heart. Silly girl, he would never love you. Let go and let him be happy with Sakura." it snikered as she flitted through the woods, tears streaming behind her.

---

Naruto stood frozen in place. Nobody save for one person ever called him 'Naruto-kun'. Now he was almost positive that 'Hina' was no other than Hyuga Hinata. What he didn't understand was how someone could leave her for another. Sure, she was a little weird and quiet, but she was one of the kindest, sweetest, and most caring people in his world. Naruto immediately decided that he needed to find out who had abandoned her, and then he was going to teach him a lesson. No one, and he meant no one, hurt his friends. Naruto summoned up the correct amount of chakra to the soles of his feet and sprinted after Hinata.

As Naruto leapt from tree to tree it finally hit him, along with a branch that sent him hurtling towards solid ground. With a thump, Naruto tucked and rolled upon impact. Instantly he jumped to his feet and began to pursue Hinata once more. One thought echoed in his mind as he ran. 'Hinata was the girl at the waterfall.' Now he understood why she had run away when he made himself known. She was so shy.

'That explains why she was sick the next day.Who wouldn't be after spending a cold night outside swimming...um...' Rouge painted Naruto's face as he paused to remember that night, 'unclothed...yeah, that's the word for it...unclothed.' The blush increased ten fold as he recalled the curve of her breast and her flat, toned stomach. 'Who knew she had such a good figure?!' chuckled his inner hentai.

---

Hinata slowed once she neared the edge of the woods and, when she eventually stepped out of the forest, sighed with relief. Naruto was nowhere to be seen and she had once again avoided telling him her feelings. Her father had been correct in his assessment, she was, and still is, weak and useless. Another thing was added to her mental list of 'Why Sakura is better than Hinata'.

The street lights flickered on as Hinata walked slowly toward her home, unaware of her yellow-headed persuer. She rounded the final corn her on her route when a frim hand clamped onto her small shoulder. Hinata whipped around to punch her assailant, but he managed to grab her fist before it made contact. Hinata faultered when her eyes met twin ceurelean orbs.

Naruto smiled as he looked down at the Hyuga girl. Her pearl eyes glistened with unshed tears; her pale skin reflected the moon's light giving her an angelic glow. "Hinata-chan, who left you? Who is it you care for most?" he asked as he grabbed her shoulders. A silent tear slid down her cheek, as did many more in her wake. Naruto froze. He had never meant to make her cry. "Gomen, Hinata-chan. I'm sorry for making you cry, but...please...answer me." he whispered as he pulled her into a hug.

"H-hai." she stuttered, her sobs muffled as she pressed herself closer into Naruto's chest in order to suffocate her pathetic whimpers.

When her sobbing stopped, Hinata raised her head and met Naruto's gaze. A small, lone tear rolled down her face; a tiny liquid diamond on the face of an angel. "N-naruto-kun..." she stammered, her face flushed red.

"It's okay. You can trust me." he said, noticing the hesitation in Hinata's voice. She swallowed the lump in her throat and lowered her head to stare at the ground.

"The p-person w-who... left me w-was..." she paused, afraid to go on. Hinata could feel his eyes azure eyes carefully inspecting her movements. It was all too much; her legs buckled and she sank to the ground. Naruto struggled to raise her to her feet and hold her steady. "It w-was...you, Naruto-kun." she whispered, her voice as soft and fleeting as the wind on Naruto's ear. And yet he still heard her. His body went rigid at his revelation.

He had always though Sasuke was an idoit to ignore Sakura's feelings toward him. He had called Sasuke stupid for it, and now he realized that he was the pot calling the kettle black. Naruto realized that once he had been too blind to see it, but now it all made sense. How she was always nervous around him; why she watched hime when he trained. Even the reason behind her determination in the Chunin exam. It had been him.

Hinata took Naruto's silence as rejection and slowly rose to her feet. She looked him in the eye before turning around to hide her tears of pain. "Goodbye, Naruto-kun." she said firmly as she walked away. God knows Naruto wanted to stop her, but he was amazed and dumbfounded by the Hyuga heiress. She had spoken with pride and without stuttering, eventhough her heart had been rent to shreds. On the outside she was stern and unemotional, yet the saddened look in her eye told a different story. He had demolished whatever pride she had left with his silence. For now she was no longer a kunoichi; she was just a simple, heart-broken girl who had confessed her unrequited love.

Guilt gripped Naruto's heart like a vice, squeezing so hard he thought his heart would shatter. "She loves me," he thought, "But do I love her? And who did I leave he for? I'm not with any..." His thoughts trailed off as a light flickered on in the dark, dingy, dusty recesses of his mind. "Sakura-chan." he concluded.

"I left to train so that I could bring 'Teme and fulfill my promise to Sakura-chan. I can't imagine how much it hurt Hinata. Everyone knew I liked Sakura. I feel like I'm as heartless as Sasuke-teme." he thought. He wasn't sure of what to do. His mind told him to leave her be, but his heart said to follow her. After moments of useless deliberation, he chose to listen to the latter and hurtled down the streets as fast as he could; skidding to a stop in front of the Hyuga mansion.

His fist pounded on the door, the dull thud resonated through the streets. From somewhere on the the other side of the door a latch clicked and it cracked open. A man with dark brown hair and the Hyuga eyes stood in the doorway. "What do you need?" he inquired stoically

"Is Hinata-chan here?" Naruto asked in return. The guard visually inspected him before giving a curt nod and opening the door further; allowing just enough space for Naruto to enter the compound. The wood was smooth under his feet as Naruto plodded along after his guide. The sheer size of the Hyuga estate astounded him. Anyone could easily get lost in the humongous building.

The guide cleared his throat to annouce that they had arrived at their destination. Naruto thanked the man, who bowed and left, before sliding open the paper door he was facing. He squinted so his vision could adjust to the darkness of the room. The hallway had been bright with light but the room he had entered had the lights turned off, coating the space in a blanket of shadow.

When his vision finally adapted to the loss of lumination, he could make out a small figure seated on the wrap-around porch outside the room. He padded across the floor toward the figure clad in a white sleeping kimono. He stopped once he reached her side and then lowered himself to a sitting position. "Hey Hinata-chan." he spoke quietly.

"Hello Naruto-san." she replied, causing Naruto to flinch. She never called him Naruto-san! His heart dropped into his stomach, he had truely hurt one of his precious people.

She kept her gaze fixed on the moon overhead while Naruto watched her silently. "Naruto-san, what do you need?" she asked softly, not once did her voice falter.

"I want your forgiveness for my ignorance." he replied, staring into her pale silver orbs, illuminated by the glow of the moon above.

"For what?"she questioned, he eyes tracking his every move. Naruto swallowed nervously before answering."For acting like 'Teme," he paused, taking a deep breath before continuing, "and for not noticing how much you mean to me. Gomen...Hinata-chan."

Hinata gazed on him with wonder. In her life she had never seen an intensly emotional Naruto before (emotionally deep, like sad, depressed deep). "N-Naruto-kun."she choked out, but she was interrupted.

"Let me finish. I may not like you as much as you like me, but I do know this. I care deeply for you and I would risk my life to save your's in a heartbeat." he interjected forcefully, then his voice softened immensly. "I didn't leave just for Sakura-chan. I left so I could bring back my friend and be able to go on with my life. The promise I made was only a part of it. Besides, I've given up on Saku-chan. She wants Sasuke, not me. I've got someone else now..." he trailed of as pink painted his cheeks.

He met her gaze once more. "He always does this. Builds me up just to knock me down again. Gives me hope and then snatches it away." she thought resentfully. Why she let him toy with her emotions so freely was a mystery, even to herself.

"Who?" she asked before clamping her hands over her mouth. The answer she both did and did not want to know. Her stomach churned when the blush on Naruto's wiskered cheeks darkened.

"Um...well...I think you know her. She's very beautiful, talented, and sweet. And...she can dance...um...Oh!...And her name is..." Hinata clenched her eyes shut, awaiting the pain of a new name.

It never came.

Only the soft brush of silk over her lips. Hinata's eyes snapped open and locked with twin neverending pools of sapphire blue. Worry etched into their surface as they watched her intensly, waiting for her to react. Her eyes lit up with happiness and instantly the worry was gone. Slowly she closed her eyes and softly returned the kiss. Finally they pulled apart carefully and opened their eyes. Love shown in Hinata's pale, luminesent orbs, while adoration shown in Naruto's.

"Hinata-chan, do you wanna get some ramen?" he asked quietly.

"Hai!" she cheered before hugging him tightly. He may not love her now, but he would learn to, in time.


Owari


A/N:Arigato minna-san for reading! Hope it was worth waiting on me for. Curse my laziness. It just sneaks up on me and WAHM! I can't get anything done. PLEASE REVIEW! It gives me a reason to keep writing. Love ya'll!

SE Uchiha