Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. I do own this story though, so hands off
Author's note: Yo! This is me first Naruto thing. I got the idea recently. I've got two fics I should be working on, but I'm in a spot of trouble trying to work on them. I can't seem to focus on them. And this thing, which just recently popped into my head, doesn't help at all. So, I decided to work on this.
P.S: this is the longest one-shot I've ever done (of course, it's only the second one so...) And it only took like three days cause I was focused on it! I feel so proud of myself!
Hinata sighed. 'Naruto,' she thought sadly. 'I don't think I'll ever be able to tell him how I feel.' The thought alone was enough to depress her, and it only made it worse when she realized just how true it was. As the fifteen year old Hyuga girl sat alone on the bench, she remembered the day Naruto had come back to the Village Hidden in the Leaves. She had been excited to hear that he was back, but when he actually said hello to her, what had she done? She had fainted. Could she not even be around him without fainting?
'But,' she told herself, 'I've been on missions with him before. And, I managed to at least talk to him.' This thought boosted her confidence. 'In fact, I've been able to talk to Naruto much more easily lately. Maybe I will be able to tell him!'
Unfortunately, another thought made its way into her head. 'He likes Sakura. If I told him, he might not...' She left it at that, not daring to even think the next word, lest it come true just because she thought it.
As luck would have it, Ino walked by just then, on her way home from work at the flower shop. She saw Hinata sitting alone, looking sad.
"Hey Hinata," said Ino, causing the lavender-eyed girl to jump.
"O-oh," said Hinata. "H-hello Ino."
"What's the matter?" asked Ino, sitting down next to the timid kunoichi. Hinata didn't answer right away. It was hard for her to put her problem into words, even though it should have been a simple task. Maybe she just didn't want to say it.
"Well..." began Hinata. "I-I just..." She trailed off. Ino looked at her, an inquisitive look in her eyes. Suddenly, revelation dawned in her eyes.
"It's about Naruto isn't it?" asked Ino.
"Huh?" said Hinata, looking up into Ino's eyes. "H-how did you-?"
"Oh come on Hinata," said Ino. "Just because Naruto's too dense to notice how you feel about him doesn't mean the rest of us are."
"He is not dense!" exclaimed Hinata, catching Ino off guard.
"Okay!" said Ino quickly, putting up her hands. "I take it back. He isn't dense. He just, um, just doesn't pay enough attention is all." 'Sure let's go with that for now,' she mentally added. "But why don't you just go and tell him how you feel then?"
"I-I can't," answered Hinata, looking down at the ground.
"Why not?" asked Ino.
"I-I'm just not..."
"Not what?" asked Ino, knowing full well what Hinata was thinking. "Not brave enough? You're a ninja! You go on dangerous missions! Don't tell me you're not brave enough." Hinata mumbled something under her breath. "You need to be more confident! You need to look the world in the eye and say 'Listen up world! I'm Hinata Hyuga, and I'm not afraid to say how I feel!'"
"I-it's not that simple I-Ino," said Hinata, tapping her index fingers together. "H-he..."
"He what?" asked Ino.
"H-he, doesn't really... kn-know me that well, and-"
"Oh come on," said Ino. "He knows you well enough. In fact, you know what I heard he did back when Neji beat you in the Chunin Exams?"
"I don't know if he told you," continued Ino, "But Naruto actually jumped down to the ground, and, after they took you away, he made a vow to beat Neji because of what he did to you. He even dipped his fingers in some of the blood you coughed up, like he was making a blood oath or something."
"H-he did?" asked Hinata, her eyes widening.
"Yep," answered the smiling blonde ninja sitting next to her. "And he did it too, but we all know that. And didn't he recognize you right away when he got back? I know he didn't recognize Shino. So, see? Naruto knows you just fine. And it looks like he cares about you too." That thought got Hinata's hopes up again. 'He cares about you.' Ino's words kept running through her mind. The more she thought about it, the more she realized that she already knew that. She had just been to depressed to remember.
Ino smiled, seeing the happy look on Hinata's face. Unfortunately, it soon faded. Hinata sighed.
"What now?" asked Ino, exasperated.
"H-he," answered Hinata. "H-he likes S-Sakura. H-he would never c-care for me the way he c-cares about her. H-he'd never feel the same way about m-me." Ino narrowed her eyes at the dark-haired girl next to her.
"Not with that attitude," she said. "If you keep thinking that way, you'll never be able to tell him how you feel! You know what?" she exclaimed, suddenly jumping off of the bench and startling Hinata for the second time that night, "That does it! I'm going to help you!"
"Huh!?" exclaimed Hinata.
"You heard me," said Ino Grabbing Hinata's wrist and pulling her up off of the bench. She started dragging her along behind her, totally ignoring Hinata's timid protests. "If you can't do it on your own, I'm going to have to help you."
"B-but," Hinata started. Ino quickly cut her off.
"No 'but's!" said Ino. "I'm helping you win over Naruto, and that's final!"
"B-but why w-would you help me?" asked Hinata as Ino dragged her along.
"Because I don't want to see you moping around the rest of your life not being able to tell that knucklehead how you feel!" said the other girl. 'Plus,' she thought to herself, 'If she and Naruto get together, Naruto might bring the flower shop more business.'
The blonde ninja in question was currently meandering through town towards the ramen shop. It was dinner time after all. And he had been training all day, so he was super-hungry. He went in and sat down in his usual spot. The chef behind the counter took one look at him and got his usual order ready.
"Make it a double order please," said Naruto.
"Long day of training?" asked the chef, preparing the food and glancing at Naruto's roughed up clothes.
"Yep," answered the would-be Hokage. The chef finished making Naruto's ramen and handed it to him. "Alright," said Naruto, "Thanks." He started slurping up the ramen. He hadn't a clue that he was being watched by two pairs of eyes, one blue and one lavender.
"Okay," whispered Ino, "He's in there. Just go in there and tell him."
"W-what?" said Hinata. "I-I can't just go in and-"
"Fine," said Ino, "Then wait until he comes out. He's probably in his best mood whenever he's full of ramen anyway." Hinata gulped. There was no way out of this. Ino surely wasn't going to let her back out, and even if she tried Ino might use her mind-transfer jutsu on her and make Hinata go and tell Naruto how she felt. The thought of finally going up and telling Naruto how she felt was terrifying, to say the least. Sure, lately she'd been able to talk to him, but this was different. This was finally telling Naruto exactly how she felt. This was quite possibly the scariest moment in her life.
She suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked back at Ino, who had a warm smile on her face.
"Don't worry about it," she said confidently. "You can do this Hinata." The Hyuga heiress felt confidence grow within her at Ino's words.
"Ino?" she asked suddenly.
"Why are you helping me like this?"
"I already told you," said Ino. "I don't want to see you moping around your entire life. Besides, I just wanna help you out for the sake of helping you out."
"Really?" asked Hinata.
"Yeah," said Ino. She looked back towards the ramen shop. Naruto had just finished his meal. "And there he goes! Now's your chance!" She pushed Hinata out of the alleyway in which they were hiding, and Hinata went tripping foreward. Right into Naruto.
"Whoa!" exclaimed Naruto, catching Hinata before she caused both of them to fall over. She blushed at the contact. "Hey Hinata! Where'd you come from?"
"I w-was, uh, walking," said Hinata, "And I t-tripped. S-sorry Naruto."
"That's alright!" said Naruto, grinning. Hinata looked back towards Ino, who was mouthing 'Go on!' and pointing at the orange-clad ninja in front of her. Hinata turned back towards Naruto. 'This is it,' she thought. 'No turning back. It's now or never.'
"N-Naruto," she said, not making eye contact.
"Yeah Hinata?" asked Naruto, wondering what was on the ground that she was staring at so hard.
"Th-there's something that I w-want to tell you," she said nervously, poking her index fingers together. Naruto looked curiously at the gesture. Why was she always doing that anyway?
"Yeah?" said Naruto. "What do you want to tell me?"
"I..." her face got redder.
'She can do it,' thought Ino, watching the spectacle from the shadows. 'Come on Hinata!'
"Uh," said Naruto, noticing her rapidly reddening face, "Hinata? Are you feeling okay?" He put his hand on her forehead, checking for a fever. This only made Hinata blush more. She seemed to be burning up. "It looks like you have a fever or something," said Naruto. "Maybe you should go to the hospital."
"N-no," stammered Hinata, although inwardly gleeful that he was concerned for her health, "I-it's nothing like that Naruto. I-I'm not sick."
"Than what is it?" asked Naruto, concerned. "And what do you want to tell me?"
"T-that," began Hinata. 'This is it,' she thought. "I-I l-lo..."
"..." Naruto said nothing, waiting for her to continue.
"I love you!" Hinata exclaimed suddenly.
"Huh?" said Naruto. Had he heard correctly? Was this some kind of prank or something? "What do you mean Hinata?" Hinata looked up at him.
"I love you Naruto," she said, "That's what I mean." Naruto would have noticed that she hadn't stuttered once in that sentence, if he still hadn't been in such a state of shock. Hinata... loved him?
"I don't get it," said Naruto. "You love me? But-" He stopped in mid-sentence. This was too much to take in. Sure, they were friends, but... love? This was too confusing. Hinata looked at him for any sign that maybe he felt the same way about her. "L-listen Hinata," said Naruto, not daring to look into her hopeful eyes. "I-I've got somewhere I need to be right now. Uh, goodbye." It was the lamest excuse in the history of Konoha, but Naruto was too confused to say anything else. He had to go home and figure all of this out. He started walking away, leaving Hinata standing frozen outside of the ramen shop.
"..." Hinata said nothing. She couldn't say anything. She was crushed. She had finally told him what she had wanted to tell him for the longest time, and he had just walked away. He didn't even seem to care. Tears started filling her eyes. She fell to her knees and started crying.
Ino, who had been totally dumbfounded by Naruto's reaction, stepped out of the alley and ran over to the weeping girl. 'That idiot!' Ino screamed in her mind. 'I can't believe he just left!' She helped Hinata to her feet and started to walk her home.
Naruto sat in his apartment, his mind in utter chaos. Hinata loved him? That just didn't make sense. He kept trying to make sense of it. It had just seemed so sudden. If he'd maybe suspected that Hinata liked him that way he might have reacted better, but-
His thoughts were cut short as an angry Ino burst into the room. "NARUTO UZUMAKI!" she roared.
"Ahh!" exclaimed Naruto, jumping up to his feet. "What're you doing Ino!? You practically gave me a heart attack!"
"Naruto you idiot!" exclaimed Ino, apparently not listening. "Do you have any idea what you did!?"
"What are you talking about?" asked Naruto.
"Hinata, you moron!" said Ino.
"Yes! You just walked away! She finally tells you how she feels about you, and you just shrug it off and walk away!"
"Well what was I supposed to do?" asked Naruto, not even wondering how Ino knew what had happened. "There I was, about to go home, when Hinata suddenly runs into me and just says that she loves me!"
"What were you supposed to do!?" said Ino. "Well certainly not just walk off! Do you have any idea what that did to her? She's at home, crying her eyes out now because of you!"
"She... She is?"
"Yes!" said Ino. "What did you expect? She tells you she loves you, and you just leave? She's heartbroken!" Naruto got a horrible feeling in the pit of his stomach.
'I made her cry?' he thought. 'I... broke her heart?' He looked back at Ino.
"Why did you just walk off Naruto?" asked Ino, looking as if she were ready to kill him if she didn't get an answer.
"I-I was confused," admitted Naruto. "I mean, I had no warning or anything. If I'd had, I don't know, a hint that she liked me that way at all I'd-"
"A hint!?" raged Ino. "Open your eyes! Didn't you ever notice how she looked at you? How for the longest time, she couldn't even look you in the eye if you ever talked to each other? If you weren't so blind, you would have all the hints you needed!" Naruto thought about it for a few seconds. It suddenly hit him.
Was that why she always blushed when she saw him? Is that why she always stuttered whenever she talked to him? Is that why she offered to let him copy her paper way back during the Chunin exams, and also give him that ointment after his fight with Kiba? Is that why she fainted when he talked to her after he returned to Konoha? Because she was in love with him?
A second thought seemed to slam into him at high speed. Had she liked him for all this time? And he hadn't once noticed it? Apparently, his thoughts were reflected in his face.
"See?" said Ino. "Do you get it now? Hinata's been in love with for years. She just wasn't able to build up the courage to tell you until tonight."
"So all this time," said Naruto, "She's been in love with me? And I-"
"That's right, you didn't even notice. And you know what's worse? No matter how stupid you acted, no matter how knuckleheaded you got, she still liked you." Naruto took in this new piece of information. He'd been a total goof at the academy, and everyone had gotten annoyed at him. But she hadn't? He thought back. Who else had ever been like that?
He thought hopefully of Sakura. He came up with a few memories of her being impressed by his abilities, but they were shot down by memories of only moments after most of those times. As soon as he made the slightest mistake, she would revert back to thinking he was an idiot.
Ino sighed. "How can you hope to ever be a great ninja?" she asked. "You want to be Hokage someday? Pfft! Who's going to want a Hokage who can't even see what's right in front of him?"
Becoming Hokage. Naruto's dream. Words that he had spoken so long ago to Iruka-sensei about his reason for wnating to be Hokage flooded back into his mind. "Then everyone will have to stop disrespecting me, and look up to me. Believe it!" He wanted to be Hokage so that people would recognize him, and notice his abilities. But Hinata had done that all along.
According to Ino, Hinata had always noticed him. She had always admired him. And he'd never seen it.
But it was more than that. Beyond being Hokage, what Naruto really wanted was to be cared about. He wanted to know that there were people out there who were concerned for his well being. Until Iruka-sensei had come along, Naruto had been on his own. No one cared about him at all. But it seemed as if Hinata had all along. She was...
"...Exactly what I've always wanted," said Naruto, causing Ino to look at him curiously.
"What did you say?"
"You're right Ino," said Naruto. "I am an idiot. You say Hinata's always cared about me?"
"And now she's crying because of me?"
"Yes," said Ino. "So you finally get it?" Naruto looked out the window. A girl who loved him, who'd always loved him, was crying because of him right now. If she loved him...
"Then I can sure as hell learn to love her back!" he said fiercely, angry with himself, but at the same time absolutely sure of what to do. "I gotta go talk to her right now!" He exclaimed. He ran past Ino and out of the building.
Ino looked after him, his reaction catching her off guard for a second time that night.
Hiashi Hyuga was in a foul mood. That Yamanaka girl, Ino, had brought his eldest daughter home, terribly upset. She was in her room right now, crying. Hinata was too distraught to really say anything, and the Yamanaka girl hadn't said exactly what happened.
"She's got a broken heart," was the most he could get out of her. She'd refused to say who had done it, on the grounds that either he or Neji would probably find whoever it was and beat the crap out of him.
"It seems like that's what he deserves," Hiashi had said.
"Look," Ino had replied, "This is all sort of my fault. I'm the one who got Hinata into this situation. So I'm going to go talk to the guy." She had left soon after that.
Hinata, meanwhile, wouldn't tell anyone who it was either. Neji, on the other hand, hadn't even found out why Hinata was so upset. Ino had made Hiashi swear not to tell Neji what was wrong, because Neji would figure out who had done it in an instant, and hunted Naruto down like a dog.
Yes, Hiashi was indeed in a foul mood. And it wasn't improved when there was a sudden loud banging at his front door, either. Whoever it was had no manners, not even waiting at the front gate so that someone could announce his presence beforehand.
Hiashi went and opened the door. His eyes widened in surprise. It was the Uzumaki boy, the container of the Nine-Tailed Fox. What was he doing here? He was panting, suggesting that he had run all the way there.
It was true. Naruto had just run all the way there.
"What do you want?" asked Hiashi.
"I," panted Naruto, "I- need- to- see- Hinata."
"She is very upset at the moment," said Hiashi. Naruto felt another pang of guilt. "I doubt that she's in any state to see anyone."
"I know she's upset," said Naruto, straightening up. "That's why I came." It didn't take long for Hiashi to put two and two together. This must be the boy Ino had been talking about!
"You!" he exclaimed. "You're the one who did this! You are the one who upset my daughter!" Naruto once again got that terrible feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"I know!" exclaimed Naruto, loud enough that his voice carried all the way to Hinata's room. "I know I upset her! That's why I came!"
"You are not welcome here," said Hiashi. "I suggest you leave right now."
"I can't leave," said Naruto. "I have to talk to her." Hiashi glared at him.
"You have exactly ten seconds to get out of my sight," he said, his Byakugan activating.
"I'm not leaving no matter what you do, so you can go ahead and do your worst," challenged Naruto.
"I intend to," said Hiashi, counting off the seconds in his mind. Seven, six, five, four, three. Hiashi readied himself to attack. Two-
"Wait!" exclaimed a voice, causing Hiashi to turn around, and Naruto to look over Hiashi's shoulder.
"Daughter?" said Hiashi. "What are you-?"
"Please wait father," said Hinata. "I... I want to hear what he has to say." Hinata had first heard the loud banging at the door. Soon after, she had heard her father's raised voice, and then Naruto's. "I know I upset her! That's why I came!" The words had gotten her to leave her room. She had walked right past Neji, who had been outside her door pleading with her to come out and tell him what was wrong. She had arrived just in time to see her father about to attack Naruto.
"Hinata," said Naruto. "I... I'm sorry. No, that doesn't even begin to cover it. You told me how you felt, and I just walked off. I-"
"That's what you did!" exclaimed Neji, who had followed Hinata. "You're the one that upset her! I should-"
"Whatever you're thinking," interrupted Naruto, "Is probably what I deserve. But before you kill me, at least let me finish." He looked back towards Hinata and took a good look at her. She looked like she had been crying a lot. Her face was streaked with tear lines, and her eyes were red. She still even had a few tears rolling down her cheeks. Naruto felt sick, knowing that it was all his fault.
He walked right past Hiashi, not seeming to remember that he was there. "Hinata," he said, looking directly into her eyes, "I'm sorry. I walked off because I was confused. I'm an idiot."
"N-no," said Hinata. "Y-you're not an-"
"Yes I am," said Naruto, although inwardly amazed that she would say something like that after what he had done. It only served to motivate him more. "If I wasn't, I would have figured everything out sooner."
"W-what do you mean?" asked Hinata.
"I should have seen it," said Naruto. "If I had payed more attention, I would have realized that you liked me sooner. And if I had, I would have reacted differently."
"D-different h-how?" she was suddenly fearful. Maybe differently meant he would have just said that he didn't like her instead of walking away. Maybe it meant-
She got no further in her thoughts. They were totally cut off by what Naruto was doing. Hinata felt herself in a firm, but tender embrace.
"If I'd known," said Naruto, "That someone cared about me the way you did, I probably would have stopped trying to impress Sakura a long time ago. And when you told me, I wouldn't have run off. I would've stayed there, and..." He took a step back, but kept a hand on either of Hinata's shoulders.
"And I probably could have told you that I loved you back," said Naruto. Hinata's heart soared. Could this mean that-?
"But," said Naruto, causing Hinata's hopes to be dashed again, "Unfortunately I didn't see what I should've seen, and I wasn't at all prepared for what you said."
"S-so," said Hinata, downcast, "I-I guess that means that y-you don't-"
"I didn't say that," said Naruto quickly. He wasn't here to make her feel worse than he already had. "But I have to know something before I say anything else."
"Can you forgive me for what I did?" asked Naruto.
"Yes," answered Hinata.
"And do you still feel the same way about me?"
"Yes," said Hinata. Even after what had happened tonight, there was no doubt in her mind. "Yes, I still do Naruto. I always will."
"If you love me Hinata," said Naruto, "Then I can love you back." As if this sentence alone wasn't enough to send Hinata over the moon, Naruto decided to take it one step further. He leaned in, and Hinata's eyes widened in surprise. He had only brushed her lips with his, just barely pecked her lips, but it was enough to motivate Hinata to do what was easily the boldest thing she had ever done.
In a fraction of a second, she had kissed him back. It was Naruto's turn to be surprised. It was only for a few seconds though. His left arm found it's way around her waist, and his right hand came up to rest on the back of her head, his fingers in her silky hair. Hinata put her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss as she did.
Hiashi, who, along with Neji, had just stood aside and watched Naruto and Hinata talk, suddenly looked outraged. He was about to say something, when a hand covered his mouth. He looked down at Neji, to whom the hand was attached.
"Don't," Neji whispered. He looked back at Hinata, and then towards Hiashi again. "Just let them. This is what she's always wanted. And after what she's been through tonight, I think she deserves it." Neji couldn't blame Hiashi. He was her father after all. He didn't think any dad would just sit by and watch his daughter make out with a guy that he had just met. Especially on such strange circumstances.
Neji needn't have bothered to whisper though. Naruto and Hinata had pretty much forgotten that they were in the room. They were completely oblivious to the world around them at the moment.
The only thing they noticed was each other.
And there it is! I hope i didn't make anyone too OOC. I'm thinking about doing a second chapter, but I'm not sure.
I think Naruto's reaction is a bit more realistic in this than in other NaruHina stuff I've read, but my opinion isn't important at the moment. Yours is!
Hope you enjoyed it!