"Firefly"

"Firefly"

By: Emo Fox

The two leaf ninja had been sitting in Kurenai's apartment for god knows how long. They had come to the home when it was light outside and the sun was just beginning to set – the whole sky looked like cotton candy.

Kiba was irritated, staring out the window, feeling stupid in his summer yukata. His hair was groomed, his yukata was a subdued indigo with an ivory sash – he matched Shino who was sitting quietly next to him on the couch.

"How long does this have to take?"

Shino didn't look in the direction of his friend – pushing up his dark glasses and attempting to ignore him.

"God!" He whined, kicking his feet, "She's been up there forever!"

"Stop being so childish." Shino mumbled, "You volunteered if I remember correctly to escort Hinata to the festival."

Kiba flushed, glaring out the window, "Yeah…"

"Yeah?" Shino quirked a brow, his dark eyes looking to the canine ninja from the edge of his glasses. "You leapt at the chance if I remember correctly."

"Fuck your memory!" He growled deeply, "So what if I did? I have a right to complain."

"No, you don't."

Kiba's angry eyes settled on Shino, "This is pointless anyway."

Shino's face was impassive, "You're whole love for her is pointless."

"Love?" He spat. "I don't love her."

"Please Kiba, everyone knows but you."

Kiba was quiet, looking off here and there, avoiding Shino's knowing eyes. "Maybe I like her…" He licked his lips. "It doesn't matter; she's taking this goddamn long because she wants to impress that retard Naruto."

"Maybe…" Shino ventured, "If you were a little nicer to her, she'd pay attention to you."

"I'm nice to her."

"Not particularly."

It was true.

Kiba wasn't outwardly mean to Hinata – but his rough nature and bluntness deterred their shy teammate from wanting to get to know him. Hinata mildly bonded with Shino, mainly because the boy was impassive – showing no threat.

"I try to be…"

"Why don't you try a little harder tonight?"

Kiba was quiet.

Maybe he should try to do something, anything, to get her mind off the stupid blonde kid and have her actually look at him for once.

"Here she is!" Kurenai's voice called down from upstairs and both boys' trained their eyes on the descent of their teammate.

Hinata was clad in a white kimono – orange gold fish swimming from the hem of the robe, flowing to her left shoulder. Her obi was a rust-gold color with a black cord tying it in place. The bow behind her was large with a soft train of silk. In her styled short hair were many gold pins, and white and orange small silk flowers.

Hinata even had make-up on, pink lips with a shadow of color on her lids and cheeks.

Kiba was in awe of her, his dark eyes never had seen Hinata so dolled up. He fidgeted in his seat as she smiled to them, his eyes looking back on the outside, noticing as it was just beginning to have first night.

"Isn't she lovely?" Kurenai smiled, admiring her work as Hinata stood at the base of the stairs. Kurenai was dressed for the festival as well, but she wasn't going to be tagging along with the children.

Kiba didn't respond.

Hinata began to get nervous.

Kurenai glared at the boys.

"Of course." Shino murmured smoothly, giving Kiba a look before he got up from the couch and took Hinata's arm.

Hinata smiled at Shino, "Thank you."

Kiba reluctantly got up as the teacher began shooing them from her home, the three of them starting down the street as Kurenai went her separate way.

They walked in silence, watching the street, the lights getting brighter and brighter as they neared the festival. Shino continued to guide Hinata along as she commented on this and that as they walked down the road.

Kiba was behind them, frowning at the backs of their heads.

Why couldn't he say something nice to her?

Why couldn't he be holding her arm like that?

He was feeling the bite of jealously as it was irritating him. He knew Hinata did all this to try and get Naruto to look at her. It was stupid and disgusting, her liking that retard. Kiba loved her more than she would ever know, and it hurt him to know that all her love was on someone else who didn't love her back – hell, who didn't even know she existed.

As they came upon the merry music and the twinkling lights, Kiba rushed up to grab Hinata's other arm. A bit forceful, but he got a warm smile from Hinata which made him completely melt.

His cheeks were flushed red as he looked off in another direction, trying to hide his own little smile from his small victory.

"Hinata." Shino murmured, the girl looked up, her eyes scanning in every direction, knowing that sly voice Shino used.

It was Naruto.

He was right there, just a few stalls away from them.

He was wearing an orange robe with a blue sash, a fox-mask on the side of his head and his hair was loose – a little more in his eyes than usual.

Hinata began to get nervous, seeing the oblivious fox-child just a few feet from her. She began to doubt herself, began to think maybe she wasn't so pretty after all, that maybe this was all a bad idea.

Shino recognized the frantic look in Hinata's white eyes, but he didn't quit his pace, the trio was headed straight for Naruto.

Kiba was thinking of deserting his group, aborting the mission knowing that Hinata would probably profess her love for the gold-haired child or something so lame as that.

…well, we were talking about Hinata here.

She would probably end up stuttering, making no sense, and Naruto with his ADD would end up wandering away and leaving her behind.

As usual.

Kiba decided maybe it wouldn't be so bad; he might even be able to get another chance at being nice to her. He could like, pick up the pieces or something like that if Naruto completely devastated her.

Shino's job normally was keeping Hinata confident, but Kiba thought he should finally step up a little, if he wanted Hinata to notice him he had to jump in front of her and yell about it.

"Shino…" Hinata said softly, wanting to turn around, wanting to go hide somewhere.

"Oy Naruto." Shino's voice was smooth and the fox turned around, his cerulean eyes confused before they settled on the group.

"Hey." He greeted, munching on a fruit cake.

"H-H-Hi." Hinata bowed nervously; still attached to her friends she yanked them down with her in her nervous haste. She quickly apologized, her face beat red and her eyes darting here and there as her heart began to flutter.

Kiba detached himself, rolling his eyes, annoyed.

Naruto quirked a brow at the shy girl, itching the back of his head, "Hi." He never really understood Hinata's weird stuttering problem, maybe she was handicapped?

Silence.

Shino wasn't going to do all the talking for Hinata, and despite his constant poking, she didn't seem to be talking anymore. She just stood there, blushing furiously as she nibbled on her lower lip for comfort.

Kiba glared at the fox, making Naruto even more confused.

"You wanna fight?" Naruto spat, his back tensing from Kiba's look of hatred.

Had they come to pick on him or something?

"You're not worth it."

"You just couldn't beat me."

"Shut up, both of you." Shino demanded and two sets of angry eyes settled on him.

"Sorry for b-bothering you." Hinata felt the distrust and anger between them, thinking it was all her fault she wanted to retreat, once again making a fool of herself.

"Don't tell me to shut up." Kiba turned on Shino.

Shino's dark eyes met Kiba's, but he didn't say a word.

Naruto, as confused as ever, his guard remained up – his shoulders tense. "What the hell is going on?"

In the moment of confused anger Hinata made her escape.

She had stumbled away from the group on her wooden shoes, darting through the little stalls, trying to make her way into the open field, wanting to get away from the boys.

It had all failed.

Naruto still didn't notice her.

Kiba was mad at her.

Hinata didn't know why she always messed everything up. She thought tonight of all nights she'd finally be able to tell Naruto how she felt. She loved the boy so much, but she couldn't say anything with those blue eyes looking at her.

Why did Kiba have to step in?

Why was Kiba always so angry?

It confused her, hurt her.

She didn't want her friends' fighting; she had just wanted to say something to Naruto, she wanted so desperately to tell Naruto how she felt. She had took so much time in dressing up, trying so badly to impress Naruto, to get that look of shock at how pretty she was.

Hinata wasn't pretty.

She was breaking down, she couldn't run anymore.

She tossed her purse to the grass, kneeling next to the river, tears springing from her eyes at the mess she had made. How could she ever look at Naruto now? She began to rip the delicate silk flowers from her hair, tossing them in the river in a rage.

She tore at her hair, snapping the elegant charms, falling to her knees and staining her kimono in mud. Everything was all messed up, why couldn't she ever speak right? Why couldn't she ever voice her mind?

She felt so useless…

Why couldn't she be outgoing like Naruto?

He envied him, she loved him, she wanted so much to be like him.

"Hinata?"

She sniffed loudly, her breath caught in her throat, her white eyes wild as she looked behind her – through her mussed hair at Kiba who was standing a few feet behind her.

She furiously wiped her eyes, smearing her make-up and getting mud on her cheek. "L-leave me alone…" She said softly, pathetically.

"Hinata…" Kiba didn't approach just yet, looking to the girl as her small shoulders shook with suppressed sobs. "Don't be like that."

"I…I don't wa-want to talk r-right now." She tried to hold her voice, closing her eyes, holding her knees to her chest.

"Did I upset you…?" Kiba was having a hard time; he hadn't meant to hurt Hinata's feelings. He just hated that Naruto didn't notice her; the stupid bastard never gave her the time of day and all she wanted was his attention.

Kiba wished Hinata looked at him with those beautiful white eyes…

Kiba was jealous of Naruto, of the attention Hinata gave him.

But, he didn't mean to do this…

Kiba never wanted to make Hinata cry.

Hinata didn't respond to the other child, opening her eyes part-way – hooded by her thick lashes as she gazed at the black water. Fireflies were beginning to swarm around them, their green lights like ghostly lanterns in the blackness.

"Hinata, talk to me." Kiba slowly approached the kneeling girl, taking a seat next to her.

She scooted a little away from Kiba, hiding her face.

"Hinata?"

"Why are you always so angry at Naruto-kun?" Her voice was soft, quiet.

Kiba looked at Hinata's curled up form, frowning to himself at the situation. "Damn it…" He grumbled, "You want to know the real reason? You'll stop crying if I tell you?"

Hinata sniffed, turning her white eyes on the boy, "Y-yes."

Kiba ran a hand through his hair, feeling awkward, feeling the blush on his cheeks. God, he hated seeing Hinata cry, "I just don't like him, he ignores you and you like him so much, you know?" He avoided the word 'love'; he didn't want to claim Hinata loved Naruto.

He was hoping it was just a crush.

That it might pass in time.

Hinata was about to speak, but Kiba cut her off.

"It hurts sometimes." He swallowed, feeling stupid, glancing here and there, anywhere but Hinata's curious white eyes. "Hinata…I really, really like you. Sometimes I wish you just, liked me too, and it upsets me…like, when you just follow Naruto around and he doesn't even know you exist."

"You li-like me Kiba?" She blinked, confused, like this had never occurred to her in a million years.

"God." He shifted, his dark eyes finally meeting Hinata's red rimmed ones, "Yeah, I do…"

Hinata took the information, sniffing absently as she tried to collect herself. She was blushing too, unsure what to say.

"Don't say anything."

"What?"

"Don't say anything about this. I know you don't like me, k?" He murmured. "I don't want false affection from you, I know you like…love Naruto."

"Kiba—"

"No." He said sternly, getting to his feet and offering Hinata a hand.

Hinata took his hand, wiping her eyes.

He brushed a bang from her face, smiling awkwardly, "Why did you break all your flowers?"

"I don't know." She admitted, she had just been upset.

"They looked pretty."

She lowered her gaze, blushing.

"You looked very pretty today." He brushed her cheek with his fingers, "You still do."

Hinata's heart warmed, "T-Thank you Kiba."

"Let's go back; we can go clean you up."

They started to walk away from the stream, the fireflies seeming to almost light their path. Hinata took in the smell of the cool night, the green glowing bugs, the way Kiba's hand felt holding her own.

This had been a perfect night, despite everything.

"You're a good friend."

"Yeah." He mumbled, feeling a little embarrassed.

"M-Maybe we can go out again…together?"

"Sure." Kiba smiled to himself, his face hidden from Hinata.

One step at a time.

A/N:

Kinda lame, just a thing that popped in my head. Decided to post it. Did you enjoy it? If so/not leave a comment, k? This is one of my favorite couples, and I don't see enough fics about them so I decided to make one.