Fade To Black
Summary: Then everything faded to black. [Sort of ShikaHina, if you squint and turn your head to the side.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, however, I do own this story idea. I have a sequel to coming up, and you can't have that either. But, you can read it.
Hinata spent most of her teen years in the estate. Her father was beginning to teach her the great Hyuuga ways, and she was trying desperately to follow as easily as her younger sister was. She continued to fall behind her sister. Before long, she was too far behind to even be considered an heiress. Instead of keeping her, her father turned away from her. He stated that if she wished to remain in the Hyuuga household, she could. However, if she did not, then she would be disowned completely. She chose the first, not ready to admit defeat.
It was her younger sister's birthday when she woke up. There would be a party, grand enough for any heiress. She huffed a sigh and sat up, tossing her blankets from her body and towards the wall. She knocked her knuckles hard against the wall and winced. She pulled her hand to her chest and sighed once again.
Something about not being an heiress made her more of a klutz thank she'd ever been before. She stood up and went to her dresser, pulling out a casual outfit of an oversized netted shirt and a pair of long shorts. She pulled on her sandals and walked out of her room, prepared to face Konohagakure as Hyuuga Hinata, the not-heiress of the Hyuuga family. She pulled her jacket from the hook near the door to the outside world and shrugged it on over her shoulders and zipped it up.
In her pocket, she felt the money for buying her sister's presents. She was always the one to spoil her sister. This year, the young girl asked for weaponry to practice on Neji-nii-san. It had caused a slight laugh from her father when she'd asked, but he did like the idea. The flicker of amusement changed to a curt nod.
She walked into the Yamanaka Flower Shop. Even though she hadn't seen Yamanaka Ino in nearly four years, she would most definitely figure out a way to let Ino know it was her. The bell jingled behind her as she closed the door quietly. She moved briskly to the front of the store, her sister's straightforward ways had seemed to brush off on her. She stood behind a tall, young man.
She held her hands behind her back as she stood in wait, watching the man in front of her. He pushed his hands deeper into his pockets and pulled out a cigarette and a pack of matches. He lit up the cig and inhaled deeply. Her hands drifted from behind her back to her face, covering her nose and mouth. She used one hand to reach forward and tap on his shoulder.
"You shouldn't smoke," she told him when he turned around to see the girl cupping her mouth and nose.
He shook his head and looked back at the counter. She tapped on his shoulder once again. "It's hazardous to your health."
He glanced over his shoulder, a slight smirk gripping his lips. "It's really none of your business, is it?" He watched as she pulled her hand back as if it had been slapped. She glanced away.
"You, baka!" a blonde, pony-tailed girl stated harshly as she walked out of the back of the shop. She smacked the back of the young man's head. "You know you're not supposed to smoke in this shop! My mother will kill you!"
"Yamanaka-san?" Hinata spoke up, holding her hand up in a slight wave.
The blonde whacked him in the back of the head again then rushed to Hinata. "Hinata-chan? Wow! I haven't seen you in a long time." She hugged Hinata and grinned. "You look great. How are things at the estate?"
"They're fine," she said quietly, avoiding Ino's quick questions.
"Ah… Well, what brings you here?"
"I—ano, I need some flowers. It's Hanabi-nee's birthday today," she smiled. In an instant, Ino had left Hinata's side and was rushing about the shop, pulling out the perfect bouquet.
"Here!" Ino stated, holding out the flowers for Hinata to take. Hinata smiled and took the flowers in her arms, cradling them against her chest.
"Thank you, Yamanaka-san." She turned to look at the young man who'd put out his cigarette. "You really should quit." She pulled some money from her pocket and Ino held her hand up, telling her it was fine. She really didn't need to pay for it.
"Thank you, Yamanaka-san."
Hinata turned on her heel and left through the door. The party went well, but Hinata had to leave early. It had to do with something about what the elders wanted to give to Hanabi. She shrugged and left quietly.
A few days later, Hinata began to meet up with others of her previous friends. She'd even met up with Naruto without her intestines twisting themselves into knots. She had smiled and kindly declined his invitation to take her to ramen to 'catch up' on things. She met up with Kiba and Shino at the training grounds. She watched them a while before they saw her watching from a fallen log. They jumped over to her and Kiba kept up conversation while Shino looked as if he were smiling, even beneath the glasses, jacket, and hood.
A few days later, she walked back to the Yamanaka store and saw the same young man she'd seen on Hanabi's birthday. She walked past him and began looking at flowers. The man sat on the counter a while, watching her look before he lit up a cigarette, not yet bringing it to his lips.
"You really should quit," she told him quietly. She stood before him, hands devoid of flowers.
She turned around and continued to look at flowers. She stopped and turned, looking over her shoulder and through her hair. "You really should." Then, without looking, she began to walk and turned her head, closing her eyes, hoping she got through to him. She continued to walk forward, wondering why she wanted so badly for him to quit.
That's when she began walking a little faster, and before the words 'watch out' came out of his mouth, she hit her head against the wall with a loud crack! She fell back and another echoing crack was heard as her head hit the concrete of the inside of the shop. Her eyes opened and she stared up.
Soon, her eyes met his and she smiled softly, as there was no smell of smoke around him. She looked at his dark eyes, wondering whether they were a dark blue-gray or naturally black. Then, everything faded to black in her vision.
Shikamaru turned to see Ino's angry face. "Were you smoking again?" He shook his head, but it was obvious she didn't believe him. Then, she looked to what, or who, he was leaning in front of. "You idiot!" she accused. "What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything. She wasn't looking where she was going."
"No one hits their head that hard."
"You baka! Pick her up and take her to the hospital. Why did you just do that when it happened? Or use your ninjutsu to stop her from hitting the ground. And you're the genius…" she murmured.
He picked her up and cradled her against his chest. He had decided to stop smoking when she'd walked in. He remembered watching the clouds with her. He didn't like watching the clouds as much as he had when they were younger. He needed something to fill his boredom, so he picked up his father's stupid habit.
Honestly, he didn't like it; he just needed someone to tell him to stop. Then, Hinata came back into the Yamanaka store, as she used to do every other day, and told him to stop it. When they got to the hospital, he set her down on a stretcher and told the nurses what happened. He stared at the blood on his hands. Her blood.
The blood of some stupid girl who made his heart skip when her eyes met his. He bit his lip and looked towards where they'd taken the poor girl. It was apparent that they'd recognized her as soon as they walked in. And, it was obvious that they had thought that he'd done something to ruin her record of not going in for major trauma in nearly five years.
He groaned and picked a tissue up, wiping up the mess on his hands. Looking up, he caught a glance from a pink-haired nurse. Mumbling a quick 'troublesome' under his breath, he was approached.
"Konnichiwa, Shikamaru-kun. What're you here for?" she asked, giving him a once over. She'd concluded, from the other room, that nothing was wrong with him, save for the splotch of red marring his hands. "Did you cut yourself?" she wondered aloud.
Glaring at her with simple disinterest he shook his head, wiping up at the blood once again. It was from the hand that was behind her head when he set the girl down. "Then why are you here?" she asked, dipping her hands to her waist and setting them on slim hips.
"Hinata hit her head and I brought her here," he explained. It seemed like he'd rehearsed this a bit.
Raising an eyebrow in disbelief, she cocked her hip. "Oh, really?"
As he explained to her the situation, he rolled his eyes. "Hinata wasn't looking where she was going and hit her head on the wall, probably knocking herself out. Then, her head hit the ground. Seeing as I could hear how loud it was, I brought her to the hospital."
She nodded, still not quite believing his story. It was when a nurse ran out and grabbed Shikamaru's arm and explained in a hurry that Hinata wasn't quite fine. "What's wrong?" she asked, stepping beside the two.
"Hyuuga Hinata, the patient, may have a concussion, considering how hard the blow was. We aren't sure that there is brain damage, but we do conclude that she will have to stay the night. Is that fine with you?" the tall brunette asked, looking down at the clipboard through reading glasses.
"Why are you asking him?" the pink-haired nurse interjected.
Blinking at the woman, she gulped. "H-he is her husband… isn't he?" she sputtered. "Right, Sakura-san?"
Shikamaru held back a laugh as he wiped at the blood on his hands once again, though it didn't seem to be doing much, as the blood had already crusted over, making it look like he'd been the one to be harmed. "No, I'm just a friend," he mumbled, at least I hope I still am.
The brunette gulped and scribbled a little on her papers, feeling Sakura glaring at the tall young man with a ponytail. "Better be," she snapped as soon as the other nurse left their makeshift triangle. She clicked her heels and walked after the other nurse, chasing directions to Hinata's room.
Later on that day, he walked into the young Hyuuga's room, sliding the door closed and entering with near-silence. Lugging a bouquet of white lilies and a small basket of berries, he took a seat beside her bed. It seemed that she was sleeping, as her eyes were closed and her hands were folded neatly on either of her sides.
She didn't move, even a little, as he set the flowers next to her thigh, the petals brushing against her fingertips. He grabbed a vase hidden beneath the nightstand beside her bed and walked towards attached bathroom. He opened the door and filled the container quickly. He entered the room, noting her change in position, the flowers in her arms. He didn't say anything as he removed the flowers, as he felt her hands touch his searching for something to cuddle against.
He set the flowers in the vase and carefully climbed over her to set the white flowers on the windowsill. He pulled back from the bed, almost afraid. He'd felt her hands clutch his jounin vest and tug strongly, as though he would be something comfortable to hold in her sleep. Ignoring it, he slid his fingers beneath hers and released himself from her grasp.
She whined a little and held his hands with hers. She sighed softly and mumbled a name beneath her breath. He assumed it was 'Naruto' seeing as the soon-to-be-new-hokage was her first love. He never guessed as she rolled over and curled her arms around the pillow that he would hear his own name a bit louder than the previous mumble.
Blinking away spots in his vision and gulping back the urge to gasp aloud, he wrung his hands. Something was wrong with this. He wasn't supposed to be feeling whatever it was he was feeling--- light-headedness? --- upon hearing his name. He'd heard it many times before from different people; at different times; for different reasons. Hearing her say his name in her sleep shouldn't have made him feel faint.
However, it seemed to, and the more she mumbled it, the more lightheaded he felt. He grabbed the closest sturdy thing, knowing that if he sat down, he might feel better. Upon sitting on the stool, his head cleared a little, though the spots still threatened the corners of his eyes. He picked up the basket of fruits and set them on the nightstand. Feeling better, he picked up a strawberry and ate it posthaste. He tossed the leaves across the room, making sure they landed in the trash bin. He waited a bit more before hearing her breathing labor.
He sat up straighter, moving to the edge of his seat. "Hinata?" he asked her body as she rolled either direction.
She gasped his name a few times, adding '-kun'. She threw her hands to either side of the bed and jumped up. Looking about, her eyes caught his and her cheeks heated almost immediately. "I… er…"
Upon seeing her awaken, his throat went dry. He stood up and shoved his hands deeply into his pockets. "I didn't hear anything," he lied indifferently. At that moment, he caught a glimpse at the clock on the wall, noting it was far past dinnertime. Eight o'clock, actually. He shot a look across the room, watching her settle back into the bed, her cheeks a gentler shade of pink than they had been only seconds before.
"I'm going to turn the lights off." He heard her hum affirmative. With that, he switched the light off, and everything in the room faded to black.