Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto and not me.

A/N: Ahh, this one is a little worrying for me. I love NaruHina, but writing it from this angle was a little weird. Anyway, I hope everyone likes it regardless.

Hinata had enough of fainting and the pain of secrecy. She had to tell him. Say it, damn it!


FRAGILE

She'd had enough of fainting. The pain of her stupidity hurt her heart too much. She cried herself to sleep a lot more since Naruto-kun had come home. And over and over again she'd whisper to herself and tell her what a fool she was for loving someone so oblivious to her. She wanted everything in the world to be a fairytale for that boy she'd watched from her hiding place behind the trees. She wanted so much more for him.

She wanted more than this for herself too. Why couldn't she have a fairytale ending?

Hinata awoke in the quiet dark of her room. The warmth from her skin had dried the tears that had been on her pillow before. She was glad – she wanted to forget those tears and the nervousness they brought.

Pulling on a coat over her pyjamas, she walked from the house into the dark world outside, silent before the dawn. The ground was hard and cold under the thin slippers on her feet, determined to make her turn back from wherever she was going. Her breaths were turned into warm clouds brushing against her lips. Something in the cool air seemed to stir her on until she reached the end – a certain apartment building.

She climbed the stairs until she reached the roof. She couldn't go to that particular door, not yet. The sun was still hiding away from the world, letting the stars glitter their most brilliantly before the dawn. She held her hands out towards the stars, hoping maybe one would sparkle a little brighter in encouragement for her. They continued to twinkle in their usual patterns. Disappointing.

"I wonder… Do you see the stars the same way I do? Or do they sparkle even greater in your eyes? Maybe even less – they'd have to seem less compared to your determination… But how do I sparkle in your eyes?"

A star fell from the sky leaving a white streak against the darkness. She stared at the fading line until her eyes welled up with tears. She cursed them. Instead of shining brighter for her, one had fallen like a bad omen. She couldn't help but let the pain of her heart overwhelm her again. She was such a fool! He never really noticed, not truly. He'd give that goofy grin and give her some strange backhanded compliment. But she'd seen the smile he only ever reserved for Sakura, something that said they both were connected in some way they thought Hinata couldn't understand. But she understood, she understood failure, feeling like something was entirely her fault, the eyes of disappointment upon her and those that burned with hatred. She'd seen those eyes from her own family – that was surely worse than seeing them from strangers, right?

She wiped her own eyes. She knew ambition too. Maybe not on the same scale as what was inside that young man, but she still knew what it was like to want so much more – much more than this! To busily make those plans and hope the foundations you laid down were solid enough to hold you up and not fade with the future. Because nothing was more uncertain than the future if you let it sweep you away from your foundations – you had to cling to them!

Could she ever feel truly connected to that boy and be acknowledged in a special way? Or even tell him she loved him?

Quietly at first, but she began to laugh at herself. Foolish, foolish, foolish Hinata. She couldn't even stay conscious around him, let alone get her words out enough. Her laughter at herself couldn't stop.

"Hi…nata-chan? What are you doing up here?"

The girl froze. She must have woken him with her stupid laughter. Don't faint, don't faint! She turned slowly to face him.

The sight of that boy's face blinking at her – that same goofy expression. That one that never showed the smile she wanted! It was infuriating!

She stormed over and slapped him. Hard. He stared at her in disbelief, touching his reddened cheek lightly. She knew he hadn't seen this sort of Hinata in a long time – not since he watched her getting bloody and beaten at the Chuunin Exams.

"Wha-what was that for?" he demanded. He stuttered as badly as she did in this moment of shock.

She glared at him, hand raised in order to slap him again. But she couldn't bring herself to do it. Words… she had to use words now… Use words, Hinata! Come on! Open your mouth, girl! DO IT, DAMN IT! SAY 'I LOVE YOU'!

"I-I-I-I-I…"

STOP STUTTERING! SAY IT!

"I-I-I-I…"

GET ON WITH IT!

"I hate you!" she screamed. Her eyes were wide with fear, but her mouth kept going. The pain had to be let out, it couldn't stop. "I've been working so hard for your sake all these years! I cleaned your apartment while you were away so you could come home to a clean house. You encouraged me to become stronger, yet you never talk to me or ask how things are going. You don't seem to recognise the sort of pain I've been through too. Neji-nii-san wasn't the only one who was shunned because of who he was. And I've only ever wished so much more for you and cheered you on from the sidelines. I hate you because I love you!"

She'd regret ever saying that, but how would he have reacted if she'd just told him she loved him?

"You know, I think that was the wake-up call I needed," Naruto would confess to her many years later. "I can't believe I was so oblivious."

He'd give that goofy grin at her, but now she seemed to see it in a different light. It was a smile just for her.