Crisp white flakes fell in small flurries around me, the bitter cold biting into my skin harshly. The hinges of the swing creaked and moaned as I swung back and forth in the silent night, the moon's pale light splashing across me in silver rays.
My throat was constricting painfully, and it was getting harder to breathe. Do not cry, Hinata. Do not cry. I had worked so hard to build up this wall, and I was not about to let it fall. Be strong. Just be strong.
But I was so tired of being strong, or at least trying to be. With horror, I watched as frozen tears fell onto the ground, darkening the perfect whiteness of the snow. I couldn't stop them.
Like a child, I sat on the swing and cried so hard my sobs were the only sound in the park. I was not a child. I should be doing this, letting my emotions control my life. But they were.
The ache that filled my body was like no other I'd ever felt before. I wanted to be noticed. I wanted to be good enough. What was wrong with me?
Surely, someone saw me. No, I don't mean simply looking at me but actually seeing me.
My father didn't. That was certain. I was nothing in his eyes but another bother. How hard had I tried to show him that I was worthy of his presence? Had every second of my life not been enough?
My old teammates had probably been the only ones who had truly cared for me, but our team had broken apart a while ago.
I had actually though he'd see me. We had spent nearly everyday with eachother, and his announcement shocked me beyond words.
"Hinata," Naruto spoke up as we sat in the ramen shop. I glanced up into his cerulean eyes and, once again, found myself lost in them.
"Yes, Naruto?" I said, setting my bowl back on the table, awaiting his next words.
"Well," he looked awfully excited, and I grew intrigued. "I'm getting married."
Time seemed to stop for a moment and then it crashed down on my head with painful force. My heart felt as if it had dropped along with it.
"That's..that's great, Naruto," I managed to say through a sheen of tears, and his smile brightened.
"You were the first person I was going to tell," he rambled on, and I sat absolutely still.
I hadn't even known he was seeing someone. Surely, there would have been some sort of sign or clue that would have told me. He had never once mentioned any girl to me, not once. I'd thought for some time now that our relationship was heading the way I had wanted it to go. I had been wrong.
The way he was currently talking about her, I guessed he really loved her, and a tear slipped from my eyes unnoticed.
"You'll come to the wedding won't you?" he asked hopefully, and I couldn't say no. I could never say n to him.
"Of course," I said thickly, and he hugged me tightly.
"Great," he said enthusiastically. "In just one month I'll be a married man.
One month! That's all I had to prepare myself for this? The knife that was already stabbing my heart sunk in deeper, and I held back the torrent of tears that threatened to fall.
End of Flashback
The chilly wind tossled my hair, and I did not once flinch or shiver. That one month had gone by too fast for my liking, and tomorrow I would have to prepare myself for the worst pain I will probably ever experience. Life was a cruel, unfair thing.
Stiffly, I stood from the swing and walked mechanically back home.
I stood awkwardly inside the church. The thin straps of my knee length turquoise dress were rubbing against my shoulders painfully, and my matching heels were too tight and hurt my feet. Nervously, I tugged at my thick plait of dark hair that fell just a few inches below my shoulders.
My breaths were coming out sharply and irregular and I struggled to calm myself. I didn't belong here. This was a horrible idea, but I kept reminding myself that I was doing this for Naruto.
I made my way to the pew furthest in the back. Maybe if I sat further back it wouldn't be as hard to watch the love of my life walk straight into the arms of another. The wood was hard and uncomfortable and hard, and I squirmed. My heart beat a fast, harsh rhythm in my chest, and I could almost feel pieces of it begin to break off.
A hand landed on my shoulder and I raised my head to meet Naruto's nervous gaze. He looked so incredibly handsome in his black tuxedo, so mature and strong.
"Please, Hinata," he said. "Could you sit in the front? I need you close."
He looked so desperate, and I couldn't deny the pleading tone in his voice. Then again, when could I ever deny him anything he asked.
"Of course," I replied in a thick tone. I'd cried for hours the previous night.
He smiled gratefully and grabbed my hand. Numbly, I let him lead me. His hand felt so sturdy and warm wrapped in my own, and my chest ached dully. He needed me close but not in the same way I needed him.
"Thank you, Hinata," he said, hugging me close.
"For what?" I asked through tears.
"For always being there for me."
My throat closed painfully, and I bit back a sob. He released me, and I took my seat. A hand squeezed my own, and through blurred vision I saw Sakura looking at me with a sympathetic look.
"Tears dry eventually," she said, but I wasn't so sure mine would ever dry.
The wedding march started up, and I stood along with the rest of the wedding attendants. I didn't want to see the bride, knowing she would be the most beautiful creature Naruto would ever lay his eyes on.
She was radiant in her intricately decorated gown. Thick red tresses were piled atop her head in an elegant bun, and she held an aura of pride and happiness. Naruto managed to see through that exterior and delve into the strong and passionate heart she held, something he had been unable to do for me.
She arrived at the altar, and Naruto's eyes briefly met mine. Trying to do the best for my friend, I smiled and nodded encouragingly.
Sakura's fingers tightened around mine as the ceremony began. I heard the occasional sniffle, and my eyes began to water. A tear managed to escape when no one objected, and more followed when the bride said I do. No longer able to watch the scene unfolding before my eyes, I shut my eyes and awaited the two short words that would rip my heart into unfixable pieces.
Instead, a chorus of gasps sounded, and I opened my eyes to see Naruto's face only inches from my own. I stifled my own gasp as he pulled me up from the pew.
"I need to talk to you," he said, dragging me along the aisle.
I caught a glimpse of the bride's heartbroken face and was immediately overcome with guilt. The smell of the approaching rain was strong when we exited the church, and I finally managed to regain my voice.
"Naruto, what are you doing?" I asked, and he ignored me.
"Do you love me?"
The question shocked me beyond words, and I remained still. His hand was still holding mine, and the distant rumble of thunder sounded in the distance. Here was my chance to tell him how I really felt, so why was I hesitating? I saw the bride with that expression of shock and forlornness on her face and felt my chest squeeze. I couldn't be the cause of the pain I knew all too well.
"No," I answered as the raindrops pelted my skin.
"You don't?" he asked. "Then why were you crying?"
I bit my lip to keep from breaking down in sobs and turned my eyes from his, not able to lie straight to his face.
"What are you doing out here?" I asked in a shaky voice. "You've got a fiancé in there waiting for you. A beautiful, strong woman. What the hell were you thinking walking out of your own wedding?"
My voice trailed off, and I sob wedged through my lips. Me being here had proven to be a horrible idea. Look at what I've done. I've probably ruined the most important day of two people's lives.
Naruto's hand slipped out of my own, and I felt so hollow and cold standing here in the rain. But his hand, instead cupped my cheek, soft lips pressed against mine.
I didn't hesitate to respond. The way his tongue explored my mouth and wrapped around mine in heated passion filled me with a raging fire. So this is what it felt like.
"No," I said, turning my head. "I can't. What about her?"
Naruto rested his forehead against mine and held my gaze. "No woman wants to marry a man who she thinks loves her," he said softly. "There's no turning back now. I've already chosen."
My stomach flipped over in elation, and he kissed me once more. This time, I felt no shame in returning it.
"You're the only one I want to see when I wake up," he said, causing me to melt in his embrace.
I had been seen. After all this time, I'd finally been seen.
A/N: I totally think Hinata and Naruto are a match made in heaven. Lol. Hopefully it wasn't too corny. And hopefully you enjoyed it!