I don't own Naruto or Roman Holiday.
Thank you to uzukun7 and everyone else who has reviewed this story! Keep them coming, it definitely makes an author feel good.
My computer is fixed so updates should come at slightly more regular intervals now, depending on how many mistakes Wash has to pick out. Enjoy!
Hinata took a deep breath. She had nearly completed a successful half of a day without Naruto or Sakura realizing her true identity.
"This is exhausting," she murmured aloud to herself.
Pretending to be someone else for an entire day was wearing her out. She couldn't remember what she had already said to the two of them. For the majority of the small snack at the Hokage Mountain peak, at which only Naruto had eaten anything, she had tried to remain silent. It was a self-imposed assignment that was easily achieved, especially surrounded by Naruto Uzumaki and Sakura.
The two fought like…well, like family, Hinata admitted to herself with a twinge of jealousy. Other than her cousin Neji, she had never really connected with any of her family.
"Where would you be without me?" Sakura grumbled as Hinata tuned in to their conversation.
"That's exactly what I just said," Naruto protested. "You just never listen to me!"
"You're going to be the Hokage soon! Doesn't that mean anything to you? You have to start becoming more responsible. You're going to be responsible for the entire village!"
At this comment Hinata saw a dark flash pass through his eyes before he narrowed them at his pink-haired opponent.
"Is this just because I didn't let you know where I was yesterday? I told you that it was no big deal!"
Sakura's eyes widened and she quickly thumped Naruto on the head.
"It's not about that, idiot! But while we're on the subject…"
Hinata began to tune her out again as a thought that had crept through her mind since their meeting at the ramen stand made its way to the forefront of her mind.
She whispered this to herself, knowing that the two were wrapped up in their own argument. The words sounded awkward and ugly as they tumbled from her mouth.
The weight of the thought caused her to sit down on a nearby rock. They had nearly reached the base of the mountain anyway and the ground had become flat. She would easily be able to see them in front of her, and if they left her too far behind, she could always activate her byakugan.
Hinata clenched her fists. The thought bothered her, certainly. However she couldn't figure out why the idea seemed so horrible to her.
"I have only known him for less than a day," she said, trying to calm herself by pressing her two index fingers together nervously.
"But it feels like so much longer than that. And she doesn't understand him! Not in the way that I do…," she trailed off, knowing how spoiled she sounded.
Looking ahead on the path, she saw tears welling up in Sakura's eyes as Naruto's face fell, and he resigned himself to comforting his teammate.
"I will make this the most wonderful day of my life," she said.
Hinata rose and unclenched her fists, walking slowly, but proudly towards the still arguing pair with a determination that would have made Naruto proud.
"…I'm sorry, okay! I just…I like spending my birthday alone is all."
Sakura made an annoyed sound in the back of her throat, signifying the end of the argument.
"You have people now who will support you," she said softly.
Hinata could hear the desperation in her voice. She resisted the sudden urge to go and comfort the young woman, realizing that, despite the fact that they were dating, Sakura would never be able to understand him.
"I know!" He fidgeted awkwardly under her stare.
"Ouch!" Hinata yelled and fell on her face.
It was unladylike, and she surely would have been scolded if she had fell like that inside the palace. Out at the base of Hokage Mountain, it became a lifeline, thrown to Naruto as an easy exit from his conversation.
He grabbed hold of it like a dying man, and Hinata couldn't help but smile as he rushed back eagerly to assist her. Remembering that she was supposed to be hurt, she quickly contorted her face into what she hoped looked like pain.
"Are you okay," he asked.
"I-I think s-so."
It was easy to pretend a painful stutter when his face was so close to hers.
Blushing, Hinata took his offered hand and he helped her up off of the ground.
"Hina, are you alright?"
Sakura had run over to the pair and was now peering at her over Naruto's shoulder.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I guess I'll have to be more careful," she exclaimed, brushing leaves and twigs from her jacket.
"Sorry, Hina, we kind of got caught up in an argument," Naruto said, looking embarrassed as he ran his fingers through his hair. It was one of his many nervous habits, Hinata observed.
"It's okay, we're done arguing now," Sakura added. "Until this idiot does something stupid again."
"Until she starts nagging me again," Naruto countered with a grin.
Hinata smiled as she fell in step next to the two teammates. Clenching her fists, she prepared herself to ask the question she wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answer to.
"S-so how long have you two been dating?"
Naruto looked around the path, making sure that the princess wasn't talking to anyone else before bursting out laughing.
Sakura followed his lead by snorting and turning away to gaze off into the underbrush.
"You know, Hina, it's funny you ask that. You don't know how many times she turned me down…"
He smiled in the face of Sakura's inevitable annoyed glare.
"…but it never would have worked anyway. We realized that a long time ago especially since Sakura is in love with that bastard Sasuke."
"Naruto!" she said fiercely, tears welling up in her eyes. "Don't say his name like that! He'll come back someday, I know it!"
"Well it's true!"
Hinata nodded her head slowly, pausing a moment before remembering where she had heard the name 'Sasuke' before. Judging by Sakura's reaction, they were more that likely talking about the Konohagakure missing-nin Sasuke Uchiha.
"I'm…sorry…I asked," Hinata said timidly.
These words were surprisingly spoken by Sakura, who brushed her hand over her eyes a moment before turning back to Hinata.
"Really, it's okay. He's probably gone and I should give up, or something, but I can't."
Hinata hesitated before slowly walking over to the other woman and awkwardly giving her a hug. She couldn't begin to understand what Sakura was going through and she decided not to pretend to.
"I put something for him right up here actually," Sakura said.
She led them a short distance away from the main path into a small clearing. There, on the side of a stone wall, Hinata saw rows of tacked up photographs. Some were accompanied by small and colorful paper lanterns, or flowers.
"What is this place," Hinata asked. She bent down to finger the soft rose petals of a wilted bouquet.
Sakura looked nervously back at Naruto before continuing.
"During the Kyuubi attack…there was a man with four children. His wife was in the ANBU and had been called to fight."
Hinata watched Naruto's face as Sakura continued to talk. Many emotions flickered across his face, ranging from sadness to anger.
"He lived at the base of the mountain, and when the Kyuubi attacked, he managed to escape his ruined house. He ended up bringing his children here."
Sakura bent over a faded photograph, hidden behind the others. It had no flowers or lantern to accompany it.
"They heard the fighting, and a few times the Kyuubi approached…but they ended up being spared."
Hinata continued to watch Naruto as he looked sadly at the wall.
"Now, it's become a lucky place. People come here and leave pictures or inscriptions of loved ones who have left to fight in far away places. If the wish has been fulfilled, they'll hang a paper lantern."
"That's a lovely story," Hinata whispered, her breath catching in her throat.
"Read some of the inscriptions."
Naruto said this hoarsely, pointing at a few poems and phrases that had been posted next to various pictures.
"You can even make a wish if you want to," he said, some of his good humor returning to his face.
Hinata closed her eyes and allowed the dream that had slowly begun to develop in her mind to become a fervent, selfish wish.
"Hey you look pretty intense. Want to tell me what you wished for?"
Naruto wiggled his eyebrows at her jokingly.
"Not on your life," she whispered, smiling up at him.
A/N: There is a scene in Roman Holiday that this chapter is based off of. Joe and Princess Ann visit a memorial where a man and his four children were saved from an air raid. "Lovely story," and "Read some of the inscriptions," are direct quotes.
Also, the misconception of Hinata assuming Sakura and Naruto are dating is of my design only. Predictable and cliché, yes. From the original Roman Holiday, no, considering that Sakura's character is actually a male photographer in the movie.
It was a hard decision whether to include Sasuke or not. Usually he is used as a foil to Naruto and there is so much behind their relationship that I considered not mentioning him at all. Hopefully it works.
Please review, good or bad!