Title: A Delicate Condition

Author: Shawny Wong

Pairing: Naruto/Hinata

Theme: #28 Wada Calcium CD3

Disclaimer: The characters of Naruto belong to Kishimoto Masashi. This story is written without permission, for fan purposes only. Do not reproduce without permission.

Summary: A mistake at the hospital's pharmacy causes trouble for many kunoichi in Konoha – and Hinata finds herself in a delicate condition. Written for Thirty Kisses on Live Journal. NaruHina. Minor pairings: SasuSaku, NejiTen, ShikaIno.


Chapter 2

Tea Country was a beautiful land with rolling rice fields, lazy rivers, and prosperous towns. Many people chose to settle there because the land was so fertile. Farms thrived with very little effort. And with it's two major exports, unique blends of tea and spices that were coveted around the world, Tea Country was one of the wealthiest countries per capita despite it's small size. Their ex-client, Meshin Bukai talked about his country with pride – often boasting that Tea Country was the best place in the world to live.

Naruto silently disagreed. It had none of the things that he associated with home: no forests, no Hokage Monument, no Ichiraku ramen stand – and most of all, no Hinata. When he finally caught sight of the massive gates of the village just before noon, he had to forcibly restrain himself from making a mad (and undignified) dash towards home. However, several minutes later, Naruto also caught sight of his beautiful girlfriend – waiting patiently beside the guard desk – and promptly abandoned all attempts at preserving his dignity.

He covered the last one hundred yards in a flash – literally – and swept her up in a warm embrace. He ignored the knowing smirks of the two chunin who were on guard duty and the distant shouts of his kids ("Hey! Wait for us, Naruto-sensei!" and "Not fair! How come you won't teach us that technique?" and "You cheated!"). All that mattered was the girl in his arms. He buried his face in her silky hair and inhaled – not realizing until that very moment just how much he'd missed the scent of lavenders.

"I'm home, Hinata-chan," he murmured. He could feel her smile against the crook of his neck.

"Welcome back, Naruto-kun."


One hour later…

"Bye, Naruto-sensei! Thanks for lunch!"

Naruto stood outside the Ichiraku ramen stand and waved good-bye to his kids. Upon their return, they had immediately turned in their mission report at the Hokage tower. Then, as promised, he had taken his kids to Ichiraku's for lunch. Much to Naruto's pleasure, Hinata had not left his side since his return. She'd walked with them to the Hokage tower and joined them for lunch.

"You know… I think my cute little genin like you more than they like me," he said as he watched his kids run off. Naruto pretended to pout. "When it's just me and them, they're the most annoying little brats on earth. But when you're with us, they're so well behaved!"

Hinata smiled and shook her head slightly. His genin had been perfect little gentlemen all through lunch. But…

"I don't think so. They're just really comfortable around you, Naruto-kun. That's why they can be themselves."

"Maybe," Naruto said with a shrug.

Hand in hand, they walked along in comfortable silence. Naruto's genin had already regaled her with stories of their mission during lunch – so Naruto didn't think it necessary to add his own (less embellished) version of the events. He was simply content to walk with her; words were unnecessary.

The streets of Konoha were quiet and devoid of crowds at this time of day. Hinata could see a few villagers in the distance – but no one close enough to overhear them. Ken, Koji, and Takeshi were gone. She and Naruto were essentially alone.

This is as good a time as any… I can do this! … I hope…

She stopped – forcing Naruto to stop with her – and took a deep breath to steady her nerves.

"There's something I want to tell you, Naruto-kun," she said hesitantly. There was a slight, almost undetectable quiver in her voice, but at least she managed to not stutter.

"What is it?"

"I… I…" she swallowed hard and cursed herself for faltering under his curious blue eyes. "I submitted an application to work as an assistant-teacher at the Academy."

She bit her lip so hard that she almost drew blood.

That wasn't what she meant to say!

"Really? Why?"

"Assistant teachers aren't required to take missions outside the village unless there's a shortage of active ninja. And… I… I can't take missions because…" She unconsciously placed a hand over her abdomen – but with no hint as to the cause, Naruto thought nothing of that fleeting gesture. "… because Father wants me to assist him in some of his duties as clan head – as part of my training."

That wasn't what she meant to say, either!

Why is this so hard?

"So your father is finally going to start training you to lead your clan? That's awesome!" Naruto smiled. "And if you're not being sent out on missions, we'll get to spend more time together. That's even better!"

Since taking a genin team, Naruto often remained in the village. Genin teams usually spent their early years training, perfecting their teamwork, and performing D-rank missions, which always took place inside the village. Occasionally, they would receive a C-rank mission that took them away from Konoha. But more often than not, those C-rank missions didn't last very long.

"Come on. Let's go home, Hinata-chan." He tugged on her hand and started leading her in the direction of his apartment. "I'm beat."

"Wait, Naruto-kun! I have to tell you…" Hinata panicked. "I have to go!"

"Go?" Naruto blinked in confusion. "Go where?"

"I promised to train with Hanabi-chan today! She's preparing for her first jounin exam next month. I'm not sure how late we'll train, but I'll probably stay over at the Hyuuga estate tonight. I'll see you tomorrow. Okay?"

Naruto's happy contentment was instantly replaced with crushing disappointment. He'd been looking forward to spending some quality time with his girlfriend after several long weeks without her. He wanted Hinata all to himself! But… He knew how important her sister was to Hinata – and Hanabi really wanted to pass on her first try.

Hinata just wants to help her sister. I'm too selfish. I should be more understanding.

"Okay," he sighed and gently squeezed her hand. "I'll see you tomorrow then."

Naruto pulled her into a sweet kiss that made Hinata want to melt. (His kisses always did that to her!) It was her turn to sigh with disappointment when he finally stepped back.

"Good-bye, Naruto-kun."


Hinata squeezed her eyes shut and hit the training post with a massive burst of chakra from her palm. The chakra blew chunks of wood from the post – damaging it beyond repair. Hinata didn't care. She had never been more angry with herself in her entire life.

She had tried to tell Naruto about the baby. How hard could it be? Just two little words!

I'm pregnant.

Two little words! That was all she had to say! She slammed her hands into another training post without mercy.

But…

Every time she opened her mouth to tell him, she had a panic attack the size of the Hokage Monument that made her heart jump right out of her mouth – and the words stuck in her throat. She had thought once that nothing could scare her as much as trying to confess her love to Naruto that very first time. She was wrong. This was much more terrifying than that. In the end, she'd run away like a coward – and worst of all…

She'd lied to Naruto.

A sudden bout of nausea and vertigo forced her to sit down before she fell.

She'd lied to Naruto – and she hated herself for it. The truth was… She'd submitted her application to teach at the Academy the moment she suspected that she might be pregnant – not because her father wanted her to stop taking missions like she had implied. (Although he was training her in the duties of the Hyuuga clan head.) And she had promised to train with Hanabi – to help prepare her for the upcoming jounin exam – but her sister had only mentioned it in passing. They hadn't actually scheduled a specific time to train together, yet – least of all today. The truth was… She'd panicked at the last moment and grasped the first excuse she could find to run away.

Coward! I'm a coward and a liar!

She sniffed and blinked back tears. Naruto deserved better than someone like her.

I'll… I'll tell him tomorrow.

For now, she needed to find Hanabi for the training that she'd promised. It was the only thing she could do to make herself less of a liar.


The next day…

Hinata sat the teacher's desk in an empty classroom grading papers. ("The first Hokage's name was Senjuu Hashirama: True or False." and "Name the six founding clans of Konoha." and "Which battle marked the end of the First Great Shinobi War?") She reached for the next sheet and grinned when she saw a doodle at the bottom of the pop quiz. It was a pink heart with the words "SA + KN" written inside. It appeared that one of the girls in her class had a crush. Hinata shook her head in amusement and continued grading.

She stifled a yawn and glanced at the clock above the door: 11:45 am. Although it was still early in the day, all she wanted to do was sleep. Sakura was right when she said that fatigue was an early symptom of pregnancy. Hinata tried to think optimistically. Being tired wasn't so bad. It could be worse. At least, she didn't have to deal with morning sickness, too! Perhaps if she finished grading the rest of the papers quickly, she could take a short nap in the teachers' lounge during her lunch break. She was so absorbed in her task that she didn't notice her boyfriend walk in, until…

"Hmm… I remember these. Poor kids. I hated pop quizzes!"

Hinata gasped in surprise and spun around in her seat to find Naruto right behind her, reading over her shoulder.

"Naruto-kun!"

"Hi, Hinata-chan!" Naruto leaned in and gave her a quick kiss. "How's your first day at the Academy? Are the little brats giving you any trouble?"

"It's been good. I helped Iruka-sensei give a lecture on kekkei genkai to the third year students this morning – and now I'm grading their pop quizzes in history." Just then, her vision blurred for a moment – and Hinata rubbed her eyes without thinking.

"Hey, you look kind of tired, Hinata-chan. Are you okay?" he asked in concern, belatedly noticing the dark circles under her eyes.

"I'm fine!" she said hastily. "I just didn't sleep well last night. I had a bad dream. That's all."

"Want to talk about it?"

"No!" Naruto looked startled by her vehement reaction. He opened his mouth to protest, but Hinata spoke quickly to distract him. "What are you doing here, Naruto-kun?"

"I missed you," he said honestly, as he gently cupped her face with one hand. Hinata leaned happily into his touch. "And since you were busy last night, I came by to take my favorite girl out to lunch. So… Want to go to Ichiraku with me?"

"Wait, Naruto-kun. I…"

"What is it, Hinata-chan?"

The classroom was empty. The door was closed. It was lunchtime, so they wouldn't be interrupted. It was a golden opportunity. A sudden rush of adrenaline washed away her fatigue. She swallowed nervously and tried to gather her courage.

Naruto deserves to know! I have to tell him that I… I'm… I…

"I can't." Hinata stared sightlessly at the ground. She was too ashamed to look him in the eyes. Coward! "I should finish grading these papers. Maybe tomorrow?"

Naruto frowned. He hadn't thought too much about it last night, when she left him to train with her sister. But… Now she didn't want to go out to lunch with him, either? Even after he'd been gone for weeks? It almost felt like she was… blowing him off. He immediately squashed that disturbing thought. This was Hinata – after all. She wouldn't do something like that. He sagged a little. She probably just wanted to make a good impression on her first day at the Academy. And…

Maybe she just didn't miss me, as much as I missed her.

"Okay. I'll see you later then?"

"Yes," she nodded and watched helplessly as he walked away. I have to try again! "Wait!"

Naruto paused with one hand on the doorknob and turned around expectantly.

"I'm…"

I'm pregnant…

"I'm… sorry, Naruto-kun," she said in defeat.

"It's okay, Hinata-chan. It's only lunch." His smile was so beautiful – that it almost took her breath away. "I'll see you at home tonight."

But he didn't.

Not that night – or any of the nights after that.


Fall was quickly approaching. The previously warm breezes of summer were turning into chilly currents of air that seemed to get underneath multiple layers of clothing effortlessly. In the evening, most villagers rushed through the streets walking briskly –eager to finish their business and return to their homes where it was warmer.

Naruto wasn't.

His steps slowed as he approached his apartment. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't even notice the cold. When he returned from his mission two weeks ago, he'd wanted to ask Hinata about their future together. For once, he didn't intend to rush head first into things without careful planning. He wasn't going to impulsively ask her to marry him right away because this was too important for him to mess up! First, he was going to ask her about her plans for the future. Then, he was going to find out if he was in her plans. And then, if he thought she would welcome the idea, he would ask her the big question. (If not, as long as he still had Hinata in his life, he was content to keep the status quo.)

But he never got the chance to talk to her.

He'd been back in Konoha for two solid weeks and had yet to spend two hours alone with his girlfriend. If she wasn't training with Hanabi or grading papers at the Academy, then she was busy with any number of other tasks – without him. She was babysitting for Kurenai-sensei or helping her father with his paperwork or attending a Hyuuga clan function or making some medicinal ointment for her ex-teammates to take on their next mission… so if he didn't mind, maybe next time? And the worst part was…

Hinata stopped coming home.

She'd gone back to sleeping in her own rooms at the Hyuuga estate. She hadn't stopped by his apartment in two weeks – not once! Not even for a quick visit. He denied it for as long as he could, but after all this time, he was forced to face the ugly truth. Hinata was avoiding him.

She didn't want to see him.

Naruto knew that he was dense and inexperienced when it came to relationships. But even he knew that when your girlfriend of two years constantly gives you excuses even lamer than Kakashi's in order to avoid spending time with you… the relationship was falling apart.

He was losing Hinata – and he didn't know why.

Had he said something? Or done something to drive her away? If he had, he didn't have any clue what it could be. If only he knew what it was that he'd done! Then he could apologize for it – and get her back.

But that's just it! I haven't done anything different, except for…

Naruto slipped his hand in his pocket and felt for the cold, hard case containing the engagement ring. He clenched his fist around it. The only thing that had changed was his desire to marry her. Was that it? Had she found out about the ring? Had one of his kids let it slip? Was this her answer?

His heart ached at that thought. He struggled to push the hurt feelings aside. They didn't have to get married. If she didn't want to, he would accept it. He would throw the ring away in a heartbeat if it meant having Hinata back in his life.

Naruto stood frozen in front of the door to his apartment. He noted with a pang that it was dark inside; there were no welcoming lights coming from the window. It was empty… of course. Another piece of his heart died. He hadn't really expected anything different – but he'd hoped so very badly. As a lonely child, in his first dirty one room apartment, his greatest dream had been for someone to love him, for someone to be there just for him – someone that would welcome him home with a smile. (His dream to be the Hokage didn't come until later – after he started at the Academy.) Hinata had given him that dream.

For one blissful year, he got to experience what everyone else took for granted. For one blissful year, he was eager to go home after a long day – knowing that there was someone waiting just for him. For one blissful year, Hinata was there to greet him with a smile and a soft "Okaerinasai, Naruto-kun" when he opened the door. But now… That dream was over. She was slipping through his fingers like water – and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

"Uzumaki-san? Are you all right?"

Naruto whipped his head around in surprise to find the little old lady who lived in the apartment two doors down from his looking at him in concern. He took a deep breath and tried to pull himself together. He wasn't going to fall apart in front of his neighbor!

"Ah! Kaede-obaasan! Yeah. I'm fine. Thanks," he said roughly – somehow managing to force a brittle smile onto his face.

"You've been standing there quite a while now. Oh dear! Have you forgotten your keys? Would you like me to call the landlord for the spare key?"

"No. That won't be necessary. I have my keys right here. See?" He pulled his keys out to show her. Then he reluctantly unlocked his door. "I'm fine. Really. I'm just fine. Good night, Kaede-obaasan."

The old lady didn't look particularly convinced, but she nodded agreeably and shuffled slowly back to her own apartment.

"Good night, Uzumaki-san."

Naruto shut the door behind him with a soft click. He didn't bother turning on the lights. There was no point. He already knew what he wouldn't see. He wouldn't see her sandals by the front door. He wouldn't see her jacket hanging beside his on the coat rack. He wouldn't see her.

"Tadaima," he whispered.

There was only silence.


"Hello, Hinata. Are those the student files from the Academy?" Shizune asked. She quirked an eyebrow in confusion when the girl started visibly and clutched the tall stack of files in her arms more protectively.

"Shizune-san! Ah… Y-Yes. These are the most recent test scores we have for the students. The summary page has already been sent forward to Tsunade-sama. These just need to be filed in the Records Room."

"Thank you so much for bringing them over for me!"

"You're welcome," Hinata murmured. "I was… I was actually on my way here anyways. I need to submit a few documents of my own to the Hokage, too. So it was no trouble at all. I've in-included them at the bottom of this pile. Will you… m-make sure that Tsunade-sama g-gets them?"

"Of course," said Shizune with a reassuring smile.

Hinata hesitated, but then relinquished the stack of files into Shizune's waiting hands.

"Thank you." She gave Shizune a little bow and almost ran out of the Hokage Tower.

I wonder what that was all about. Shizune mused. Hinata had seemed a bit off. She hasn't stutered at me in years. How strange!

However, a few minutes later, Hinata's strange behavior flew right out of her mind. Shizune was paged by the Konoha Hospital to perform emergency surgery on a chuunin team that had been caught in an ambush. She quickly handed the Academy files off to the nearest secretary and ran for the hospital. In her urgency to save lives, Shizune forgot all about Hinata's request.

Keiko looked down at the stack that Shizune had unceremoniously shoved at her and sighed. This wasn't the first time – nor (she was sure) would it be the last time – that she had to cover some of Shizune's administrative duties at the Hokage Tower while Shizune was busy at the hospital. Keiko blew at her brown bangs in annoyance. She liked Shizune, so she didn't mind helping – not really. She only wished she could get more advanced notice! Keiko carried the files down to the Records Room – never noticing that several forms at the bottom of the pile were not student records.


Hinata stepped out of the Hokage Tower with a small spring in her step and smiled for the first time in days.

I did it!

She had taken the first step. She had just submitted her paperwork for a leave of absence from active duty to the Hokage. Soon, Tsunade would know her secret. If she didn't want Naruto to find out about the baby from someone else, then she had to tell him now. In effect, she was forcing herself to act. Instead of feeling pressured, she felt… relieved. She wouldn't allow herself to run away anymore!

I have to tell him this time. I have to! Or else he'll find out from someone else…

Hinata ran off to find her boyfriend.


The Makimono Bookshop was located on a side street just off the main business district in Konoha. It belonged to one Daichi Makimono – a gruff, older man in his late fifties.

In his youth, Daichi's love of books and literature took him to the capitol city of the Land of Fire where he found work as a librarian in the Great Library of Fire. After a while, he realized that his calligraphy was uncommonly superb. So he became a scribe at the Daimyo's palace and worked there for many, many years. Then about twenty years ago, Daichi discovered (quite accidentally) a series of forgeries in the Royal Archives – which led to the arrest and imprisonment of a number of corrupt politicians in the Daimyo's court. The Fire Lord generously rewarded Daichi for his services. The reward money combined with his life savings allowed Daichi to achieve his dream of owning his very own bookstore. He retired from his work as a scribe and moved to Konoha where he expected to live a quiet life among his books. He never expected to end up caring for a young child after his niece and her husband suddenly passed away. However, Daichi knew his responsibility. So he agreed to take the child. Within a few months, his "nephew" was no longer a responsibility; he was Daichi's pride and joy.

Now that the boy was older, Daichi would sometimes leave the shop in his nephew's capable hands while he played shogi with a few of his friends (and regular customers) at a nearby park. Today was one such occasion. Daichi left his nephew with his nose buried in a book of political essays – while he went to play shogi and exchange stories with his friends. (Because old men don't gossip, they exchange stories.)

The bell over the door tinkled – signaling the arrival of more customers. The boy behind the counter didn't even look up from his book.

"Welcome to the Makimono Bookshop," he said automatically.

"Hey, Koji."

"Ken? Takeshi? What are you guys doing here?" Koji asked in surprise. His teammates were not the bookish type, so they rarely visited his uncle's store. Koji set his book down after saving his place with a bookmark.

"We came to ask you if…"

"No."

"What the hell!" Ken exclaimed. "You haven't even heard the question yet!"

Koji only scowled at him.

"I'm not going to write up the mission report for our latest D-rank mission. I've done it 5 times in a row already. It's your turn. You do it!"

"Come on, Koji," Ken wheedled. "We're a team! So do it for the team! Your calligraphy is way better than ours!"

"Chicken scratch is way better than yours! I'm amazed you can even write your name legibly!"

"Hey! I'm not that bad! I…"

"Cut it out, Ken." Takeshi said, interrupting the escalating argument. "This isn't what we're here for. Remember?"

Ken snapped his mouth shut. Koji waited curiously for Takeshi to continue.

"There's something really wrong with Naruto-sensei. Have you noticed?"

"Yeah, I have," Koji said thoughtfully. "He's been kind of depressed lately. He smiles, but it never looks right, you know? And he keeps spacing out during training. But what can we do about it?"

Neither of his teammates had an answer for him.

"Besides…" Koji added in a rare moment of maturity. "I don't think sensei would want us sticking our noses into his private life."

"The four of us are a team," Takeshi insisted. "If there's something wrong with Naruto-sensei, then we have to help."

"We don't even know what the problem is!"

"Actually… We do," said Ken. He smirked when his teammates looked at him in surprise.

"We do?"

"We do?"

"Yep. It's Hinata-san," Ken said matter-of-factly as he tapped his nose. "Or well… to be more accurate… It's not Hinata-san."

"Huh?"

"Everyone has a unique scent – and if you're physically close to someone else, your scents rub off on each other. The other scent is even stronger if you're… you know… really close to each other." Ken blushed a bit and rushed through the rest of his explanation. "Whenever we were in Konoha before, I could always smell Hinata-san's scent on Naruto-sensei. But since we've been back, there hasn't been any trace of it – which means he hasn't been with her in weeks."

The three of them were silent for a few minutes.

"Do you think that maybe… Naruto-sensei asked Hinata-san to marry him… and she said 'no'?" Koji asked hesitantly. "Maybe that's why he's so sad."

"Don't be ridiculous, Koji!" snapped Takeshi. "That goes against all logic. Why would she say 'no'?"

"That can't be it." Ken agreed with Takeshi. "Hinata-san's been in love with Naruto-sensei ever since they were kids. Kiba-niisan told me so."

"Well… Unless sensei asks us for help, there's not much we can do."

"Maybe. Maybe not." Takeshi shrugged. "When do you get off, Koji?"

"Uncle Daichi should be back in an hour or two."

"Okay. After you get off, let's go track Naruto-sensei down."


"Rasengan!"

Another boulder was reduced to rubble. Training ground 47 looked like a war zone.

Trees, rocks, training posts; nothing could escape destruction. The training posts were the first to go – burnt into charcoal lumps with an intense Katon - Karyu Endan (Fire Release: Fire Dragon Flame Bullet). Every tree within sight was damaged in some way – mostly with Futon (Wind) jutsu, but there were also spiral marks cut into several trunks. Not even the ground managed to escape damage. The once flat earth sported large craters at random intervals. Deep furrows crisscrossed the area. And every single rock larger than a basketball was being systematically turned into gravel.

Naruto stood in the middle of the training ground in a black tank top and pants – which now looked more grayish brown than black from the dirt and dust his jutsu kicked up. He surveyed his work impassively.

Tsunade-baachan will probably dock my next few paychecks for repairs.

He didn't care. The money wasn't important to him. What was important was…

Don't go there. He told himself sternly. Don't think about…

Naruto charged up another Rasengan in one hand and blew another boulder to bits. He was trying to take his frustration out on the environment – and trying not to think. But it wasn't working! It didn't make him feel any better. It only served to make him more upset… more angry. And he was still thinking about...

Hinata-chan. What did I do wrong?

She blew him off with the lamest excuses – which meant that she didn't want to see him. She was cutting him out of her life. And the only reason for that – the only reason he could think of – was because she was breaking up with him. That revelation tore his heart to pieces. It also made him absolutely furious. As much as he wanted to hate her, for giving him his dream and then cruelly snatching it away, he just couldn't. He still loved her and wanted her back. He was furious with himself, for being such an idiot.

I knew it was too good to be true. A princess and a demon container? It was never going to last.

Naruto knew it – had always known it. He was an idiot for falling in love with her when he knew it would end like this – with her finally coming to her senses and leaving him. But he had ignored his common sense. He had foolishly blinded himself to reality – and now his heart hurt so much it felt like he was dying from the inside out. It was the price he paid for his utter stupidity. He had only himself to blame.

Why was I so stupid?!

"Rasengan!"

The last decent sized rock in the area was blown to bits. Training ground 47 was no more. But Naruto was still angry and frustrated. He needed another training ground to demolish. Maybe training ground 45 was free. He made his way over to the edge of the tree line where he'd left his jounin vest and picked it up. He tensed when he sensed someone approaching and turned around.

It was Hinata.

Hinata eyed her boyfriend carefully. Naruto held himself stiffly. And… if the destruction around him was any indication, he was angry. Maybe she'd come at a bad time? Perhaps it would be better if she talked to him later… much later. Hinata gave herself a mental shake. No. No more excuses. She wouldn't put it off anymore. She swallowed hard and licked her lips.

"Um… Hi, Naruto-kun." She smiled nervously.

"What do you want, Hinata-chan?" Naruto asked impatiently.

Hinata winced a little at his obvious irritation.

"I was l-looking for you, Naruto-kun."

"Really? After two solid weeks of going out of your way to avoid me, you finally want to see me?" Naruto bit out sarcastically. He struggled to keep his emotions under control, but she was standing right there – just a few feet away – so perfect and so… out of his reach.

"I'm so sorry, Naruto-kun," Hinata said guiltily. She felt sick knowing that she had inadvertently hurt him. "Can we talk? There's something important I have to tell you."

So this was it. She was going to tell him it was over. It hurt more than he expected.

"Don't bother, Hinata-chan. I know what you're going to say."

"You… do?" Naruto knew she was pregnant? When did he find out? Her heart sank at his cold expression. "I'm s-sorry, Naruto-kun. I meant to tell you s-sooner, but I was afraid you would be m-mad."

"I'm not mad… or at least, I'm not mad at you," Naruto said bitterly. "Just tell me what I did wrong."

"Wrong?" Hinata asked bewildered.

"What did I do wrong?! I thought you were happy with me! If you're going to dump me, at least tell me that much!"

Hinata reeled in shock. Naruto thought she wanted to dump him?!

"I'm not dumping you!"

"Aren't you? You've been avoiding me." Naruto saw the guilt in her face. "You obviously can't stand me anymore. If you're not breaking up with me, then what are you doing?"

"I… I just…" she struggled to find the right words. "I've been trying to tell you…"

"Forget it," he snapped. "I don't want to know!"

"But Naruto-kun! I…"

"I said I don't want to know!"

Hinata gasped and tried not to cry. Naruto turned around because it hurt too much to look at her. For a moment, neither spoke.

"I'll make it easy for you, Hinata-chan," he said quietly. "I won't seek you out anymore, so you can stop hiding in the Hyuuga estate – and you don't have to worry about finding new excuses to avoid me."

"You don't understand, Naruto-kun!" she said desperately. But it was already too late.

Naruto vanished with a Shushin no Jutsu. A sudden gust of wind blew through the spot where he had been standing. He was gone. He had used so much chakra in that one jutsu that Hinata knew without looking that he was already far out of the range of her Byakugan.

To be continued…


Author's Note:

(1) I had no idea how emotionally draining it is to write so much drama and angst! I'm tired. I really need to write some humor and fluff after this!

(2) And… because I'm so tired, I can't think of anything else to say. So enjoy and please review! Thanks!