Warning: Some LeeSaku, SasuKarin, and blatant hints of NejiTen
Naruto and Hinata were different, like the sun and the moon. One loud and flashy, the other quiet and subtle. And like the moon, Hinata had always relied on Naruto, albeit from a distance. His confidence gave her strength, like the sun lends its light to the moon. So it was obvious to most that something would happen to cause Naruto to look away from the Haruno girl, and see the one who would have done anything to be his. And finally something did.
Rock Lee's infatuation was as well known as Naruto's, being just as flamboyant. However, the object of both their affections was still pining over the Uchiha boy, who left the village, as she stubbornly believed that he was coming back. Despite having been made the apprentice of Tsunade, she still held onto the childish faith that she had in the traitor. So both boys waited, one more patiently than the other. Until the day where she saw Sasuke Uchiha again. And he broke her heart.
When Sakura and Naruto found Sasuke, he was a few miles outside of the village. When they confronted him, neither party appeared to want a fight, although Sasuke had three people with him, superior numbers. After being asked if he intended to return to the village, he said no. And Sakura thought that was the most crushing news she could be given. She was wrong.
It was only then that a red-headed girl walked up. Sasuke introduced her as Karin, and Sakura plastered a fake smile on her face. Because, with no words being said, Sakura knew that Sasuke loved this other girl. And nothing could have hurt her worse.
When they made it back to the village, Sakura went home and cried.
Surprisingly, the one that found her there wasn't Naruto or Ino. It was Rock Lee. He had heard from Naruto, and had known that Sakura had to be upset. So he went to see her, almost timidly, worried that he would be one of the last people she would want to see. Yet she let him in instantly, and let him hold her as she cried her eyes out.
That was the beginning.
Rock Lee and Sakura had become closer then. So much so, that it was rare to see one without the other when they weren't training. (Although Neji had gotten better with people, he still refused to allow Sakura to invade their training area, despite TenTen telling him to lighten up.) Therefore, it was natural for that newborn, easy friendship to evolve into love.
Naruto was finally forced to give up his former crush, as it was unlike him to try and break up someone. And when Naruto finally looked around, he was able to see who had been waiting for him all along.
Hinata had been training one day when she had felt something was amiss. Turning around, she saw Naruto's face only inches from her own. Startled, she jumped backwards; almost hitting the pole she was practicing on, and began trying desperately not to faint.
Naruto didn't say a word, only gazed at her with his ever-present grin, but it seemed softer somehow. Hinata took a few seconds, but finally got up the courage to say something.
"Naruto-kun?" she inquired timidly. And his grin grew broader.
"Hello Hinata-chan. Would you like to get some ramen with me?" he asked, almost impertinently, but instead of irritating her, the inflection simply served to make her face turn a more vibrant shade of scarlet. Not trusting her voice, she nodded.
And promptly fainted when Naruto took her hand.
That was how it all began. Naruto had finally noticed the Hyuuga heiress, and they couldn't have been happier. (With the exception of a few death threats from an over-protective cousin, but let's forget about that.)
It took two dates for Naruto to ask her to be his girlfriend.
Two minutes for her to revive consciousness and answer.
Two weeks for Naruto to, the one blushing for once, give her a locket, with one half containing a picture of them.
Two months for Tsunade to notice the amazing chemistry between them and begin assigning them missions together.
And two years for Naruto to propose.
(It had always gone in twos for them, after all, two made a pair, and they never were doing anything without the other these days.)
But it took two seconds for Hiashi to say no.
The kyuubi, no matter how devoted and in love, was not a suitable husband for the Hyuuga heiress, and Hinata was inheriting, with the blessings of both her younger sister and her older cousin. But the one thing that Hinata had always wanted to prove herself worthy of was now tearing apart her happiness. And nothing could have made her bitterer. No, not at others, because Hinata could not bear to despise anyone, but at herself, for being too weak, for not noticing, for getting in the way of not only her own happiness, but Naruto's as well.
The villagers said it was a shame; they had gone so well together, before going back to the newest intrigues, something more interesting than the Hyuuga's affairs. Only one person could understand, but not entirely, for the girl was on the opposite side, unable to marry because her lover was the one who was a genius, and she had no past, no name. But that didn't mean that she could help. They just were two love-sick girls who were bound to get their hearts broken.
Naruto had fought the decision Hiashi made. He offered to run away, with her, to get married where the head of the Hyuuga couldn't stop them. But Hinata knew that it would mean abandoning the village which he loved. So she simply shook her head, and said the missions they were on together were enough.
Despite Hiashi's orders, Tsunade continued to send them on missions together. When all was said and done she was still Hokage, and she was still in charge. So although the Hyuuga clan complained, she told them to shut up, she could still do whatever the heck she wanted, and that was that.
Luckily for Naruto and Hinata, the other shinobi on their missions were usually their age, and sympathetic to their plight. If Naruto and Hinata were acting a bit closer than friends, well who were they to stop them? After all, it was a well known fact, not even most of the older shinobi liked the imposing Hyuuga clan leader.
So their continuing relationship remained a secret to Hinata's father. However, it didn't mean that they could really be together. Stolen moments in dark corners were all they had now, whereas previously Naruto had shown her off to the world. But those days were dead and gone, as well as the constant smile that Naruto had always worn had disappeared long ago.
It wasn't until six months after Hiashi has forbidden their union that Hinata and Naruto found a way. They were on a mission, just them, TenTen, and Neji, sent out to gather information on a man that they may have to assassinate later. It was a routine mission, and at first there was nothing different about it. Until they walked by a chapel where their target's son was getting married. And realized what they could do.
It took some persuading with Neji, but with TenTen's assistance, they got his consent. The wedding party consisted of bride, groom, best man, and maid of honor. Finally they were bound together officially; no one could tear them apart now.
The smile so long absent from Naruto's face returned, during the ceremony he was the sun, bright and shining. And Hinata was also the moon, no longer blushing scarlet in front of her boyfriend, pale skinned and ethereal looking in a white gown that had been rented for the occasion. And now only Neji and TenTen got to comment on how well they fit for each other. They were always meant to be, no matter what.
When they all got back from the mission, very few noted it out loud, but it was apparent that something had changed. The life so long absent from the two had returned. And although it was puzzled over, no part of the wedding party would ever tell. The only evidence was two gold bands, worn on long chains over the couple's hearts.
And they longed for the day when they could wear them on their hands.