The Mistake He Made

Disclaimer: I own only the plot.

AN: This is based loosely on the song 'My Girl's Ex-Boyfriend' by Relient K. I saw an AMV for this, by NikkiUchiha915. It gave me the idea to write the triangle into a story. Also, please don't hate me too much for what happens with Naruto. My new editor hated me and Naruto (he likes Naruto a little) by the time he was done with the chapter. R&R!

"N-Naruto-kun?" asked a timid voice.

Naruto, Sakura, and Sai turned to see Hinata standing there. She was staring at her feet. Kurenai, Kiba, and Shino stood a few feet behind her.

"What, Hinata?" Naruto asked, confused.

"I-I was wondering if—you know," she fumbled for words and turned bright pink. "You w-wanted to—um…"

Sakura smiled and whispered in Naruto's ear. "She's trying to ask you out. Help her out and say yes."

"Um, sure?" Naruto said, thinking about Sakura.

Hinata looked up gratefully and smiled. Sakura instantly took over setting up the date. "How about tonight, at Ichiraku's?"

"Believe it!" Naruto shouted happily as Hinata nodded. Sakura and Kurenai were happy that Hinata had finally worked up the courage to ask him out; it didn't matter that Sakura had to help her out. Kiba was disapproving, since he liked Hinata a lot, but decided to let it go. Her happiness was more important than his. Shino and Sai were impassive.

After a few dates, Naruto, at Sakura's goading, asked Hinata to become his girlfriend. She accepted. They were fifteen. Everyone said they made a cute couple. Naruto didn't care. He was always thinking about Sakura. He kept it hidden pretty well. Everyone was ignorant to his true feelings.

When they were eighteen, Sasuke returned in early autumn. He was different from who he had been. He was hardened. He had killed his brother, Orochimaru, and what was left of the Akatsuki. Killing that many toughened him. He had begun to lose contact with his emotions, locking them up.

After a week of arguing, Sasuke was allowed to live in Konoha permanently. His loyalty had been tested and found worthy. That day, Sakura talked to Sasuke a second time about her feelings towards him. Naruto found out the next day that it had not turned out well for Sakura. She had been turned down. Harshly. Perfect opportunity.

Hinata was going to go meet Naruto at Ichiraku's for dinner. She was running slightly late and decided to cut through park. Besides, it was a nice autumn day. As she walked through the park, she saw a flash of spiky, blond hair run by her. Naruto hadn't seen her, which was odd, plus he was running in the opposite direction. This odd behavior lead her to follow him. He lead her to a bench underneath a sakura tree where Sakura sat. He slid down next to her. Hinata hid herself behind the tree, listening to the conversation.

"Hi Sakura-chan!"

"Hi, Naruto-kun." Her voice was level and calm. His was happy and exuberant.

"So…I heard that Sasuke turned you down."

"If you're here about that, you should know—"

"Sakura-chan! I'm not here to make fun of you. I want to ask you if you'd like to be my girlfriend."

Hinata's and Sakura's jaws dropped. Sakura recovered and said, "Naruto-kun, you're dating Hinata-chan!"

"So?" His tone was disdainful.

"You're asking me to hurt one of my best friends!" Sakura was outraged.

"I'll dump her first. I never really liked her anyways. I only dated her 'cuz you told me to."

Hinata felt hot tears run silently down her face. But, the cruelty didn't stop there. "She's also too quiet and boring. She stutters all the time. She's also pretty ugly. She's got a good chest, but that's all."

"NARUTO!!! How can you say these things?"

"Easily. They're all true."

"She's had a crush on you since the Academy!"

"Oh well. Times change. She should hook up with Kiba. He likes her."

"Naruto, why?"

"You told me to."

"You have to tell her the truth. Let her break up with you." Sakura's voice was tight with anger. "I can't believe you!"

"Yeah, yeah. After I'm through with Hinata, will you be my girlfriend?"

"Naruto, I don't know how to say this, but, well, Lee-kun proposed to me, yesterday, when he was comforting me after Sasuke and, well, I accepted." She held up her hand. A gold band with the Leaf symbol was on her ring finger. "We're engaged. The wedding's in the spring."


"Lee-kun comforted me and I realized how I never really like Sasuke. It was just some stupid crush. He's always loved me and been there for me. I've always loved him; it just took me some time to figure it out."

"But—I love you!!!" Naruto sounded desperate.

"You're too late. You have Hinata, even though you've been stupid for the past few years. I'm not sure you really deserve her. I'd figure out how to fall in love with her."

"I can't—"

"Don't bother," Hinata said, facing Naruto and Sakura. Tears fell swiftly down her face and to the ground. Her waist length indigo hair had fallen partly into her face as she had moved out from behind the tree.

Naruto was in front of her in a heartbeat. He couldn't lose two people in the same day. "Hina-chan," he said, reaching out to touch her cheek.

Hinata jerked away and said, "D-Don't call me that or t-touch me. L-Leave me a-alone. W-We're through U-Uzumaki-san."

"What? No, Hinata, come back!" Naruto cried as Hinata ran away. "Wait! I can explain!"

"Good going, Naruto. I hope you're happy!" Sakura shouted. "Good-bye."

'Why?' Naruto wondered as he walked back into town. 'Why do I have to lose Sakura to one of my friends? Why did Hinata have to hear?'

Naruto closed his eyes. As tears slid out, he saw Hinata. Hinata, timidly sitting next to him at Ichiraku's. Hinata, working up her courage and hugging him. Hinata, smiling. 'How could I be so blind?'

Hinata ran into the Hyuga compound. Past her father, who looked surprised to see her home so early. Past her cousin, who looked confused to see her home when she should be on her date and had tears on her face. Past her sister, who asked her what was wrong. She slammed her bedroom door closed and lay down face first on the bed. Tears fell out, but only a few. There were only so many tears she could cry.

Hearing a knock at the door, she said, "Yes?"

"Hinata-sama," Neji's voice said. "Is anything the matter?"

"No. Nothing's the matter," Hinata said, calmly and coolly.

"Then why are you home early? Why are you crying? I can tell that you're lying. Need I remind you that I have the Byakugan?"

"No, nii-san. I'm home early, because," Hinata paused, trying to think. "I'm home early because I broke up with Uzumaki-san."

"Why?" Neji was surprised. Hinata had liked Naruto for so long and was always happy when she saw him.

"It's of no importance. I would like to get some rest, nii-san," Hinata said, formally.

"Very well, Hinata-sama."

Hinata saw him leave and then relaxed. She didn't feel like explaining everything to him. Or anyone else for that matter. She just wanted to lie down on her bed and not think anymore. But, her mind would not be silent.

'You know that it's all your fault, right? If you weren't so weak, he'd have like you. If you didn't stutter all the time…'

Hinata sat up. She just wanted to forget all about Naruto. It would be easier for both of them if she just disappeared. Standing up, she made her way across. When she saw her reflection in the mirror, she stopped. Naruto had always loved her long, straight hair. 'I don't need to keep him happy anymore,' she reasoned as she picked up the pair of scissors. 'I never like my hair this long anyways.'

She put down the scissors and viewed what she had done. Her hair now chin-length, short and easy. It didn't look pretty, but she didn't want to look pretty. Hinata didn't care anymore. The one guy who she had liked, didn't like her but one of her friends. She was still in shock. Numbness would set in later.

Hinata looked down at the clothes she wore. She had dressed up slightly just for him, even though she knew they'd just be going to Ichiraku's. She never wanted to see these clothes again. Reaching into her closet, she looked for something that didn't have memories tied to it.

Hinata tried to leave the house as inconspicuously as possible. Unfortunately, Neji ran into her.

"Hello Hinata-sama—what happened to your hair?"

"I cut it."

"Obviously. Why?"

"It was too long. Let me pass."

"What are you wearing?"

Hinata looked down at her clothes. A black, Asian style top and a long skirt with slits up the sides. Underneath, she was wearing navy blue shorts. "I needed a change. Please let me by."

"Where are you going?" Neji asked as she forcibly tried to move him. She wasn't strong enough and only moved him an inch. He didn't seem perturbed.

"Training grounds."

Neji moved aside and sent her nearly sprawling. She caught herself and walked off. 'Something's definitely going on with Hinata-sama. Something to do with Uzumaki. I'll have to talk to him…'

Hinata repeatedly punched the wooden training post. Her hands hadn't started bleeding yet, which was a good sign. It was releasing all the tensions she was feeling because of Naruto. She was so engrossed that she jumped when someone spoke.

"What are you doing?"

Turning around, she said, "U-Uchiha-san."

Sasuke's eyes flashed and he repeated his question.

"I'm t-training."

"Hn…" His stare was disbelieving. Finally, he spoke. "Fight me."

"W-What?" Had she heard him correctly?

"Fight me. I don't have all day."

Hinata suffered a mental battle before going into her stand. She activated her Byakugan as Sasuke activated his Sharingan. The red shone eerily in the near-darkness. She waited, hoping he would attack first. When he didn't, she gathered her courage and ran at him.

Faking left, she twisted towards his right. He dodged it and hit down on her wrist. She pushed herself away from his, testing out her wrist. It was fine, just bruised. She could live with bruises. 'Guess I better just seal up his chakra holes; no Jugen. I don't want to cause lasting damage,' Hinata thought to herself.

Once again, she ran at him. This time, straight at him. Sasuke was ready. He dodged her hits, much thanks to the Sharingan. He aimed a hit at her face, but she dropped to the ground and swiped her leg across the ground, aiming for his ankles. He jumped in the nick of time. She straightened and quick successions of hits followed. Sasuke dodged most of them, but a few of them were too quick for even his increased speed. He kicked her back, where she landed on the ground. Hard.

Sasuke waited to see if she would get up. He was slightly surprised to see her get up so quickly. He had heard about her fight with her cousin and hadn't expected much of a fight. He was wrong.

Hinata shook her head and tried to think. She was running out of strategies. She didn't want to have to resort to the Jugen. 'Might as well try the Kaiten. Nii-san taught it to me a while ago. It should work.'

Sasuke had never seen the Kaiten actually be preformed. He knew the theory, but hadn't actually prepared to be against it. As he took his turn flying back, he thought, 'She's interesting. I didn't expect a fight, though I wanted to fight a Hyuga. I got my wish.'

Sasuke stood up and pushed his Leaf headband up (Naruto had returned his several days ago). Hinata was nearly bent over double, panting. The Kaiten had taken a lot out of her. Sasuke walked over to her.

"Good fight," he said mildly.

"T-Thank you. You f-fought well also," Hinata said between breaths.

"Here." He offered her a water bottle. Not meeting her eyes, he said, "Just drink it. I didn't poison it."

After standing up, Hinata looked down, blushing. He was standing very close. Sasuke didn't look at her as he said, "Come here tomorrow at around three. We can train."

"A-All right." Hinata was confused. Sasuke was antisocial and aloof. And here he was, telling her to come train with him. What was he playing at? "G-Good night."

As he watched her walk off, Sasuke wondered what had possessed him to tell her to come back. He liked his solitude. She was quiet, though. Barely spoke and always blushed. She was a good fighter. He'd see what it would come to. If she got too close, he'd break it off. Like he'd done so many times before.