Because (of her)
- x - x - x -

"Are you okay?" I asked cautiously, eyeing the girl on the bed in front of me. She was shaking, looking absolutely terrified.

Well, at least that wasn't out of the ordinary. I turned in my chair, sitting backwards and folding my arms over the top of the chair. Her white eyes flew away from me, staring desperately at the bed sheets.

Was I really that scary?

Not that I could blame her. It was a pretty awkward situation. Rubbing the back of my head, I pondered just what I may say. Words weren't coming, though. Through the years, Hinata had been a really good friend of mine, sure. But... even if I'd thought of her a few times romantically, I'd never really thought about seriously asking her out.

For one, she was overly sweet, and I was explosive and often crude.

In honesty, there weren't any girls I seriously wanted to date. Not even Sakura; over the years, she had became more of a sister then anything else.

Akatsuki played a major factor in my ignorance of girls. If I was to start up a relationship with a girl, they'd start to target her. She'd be at risk, and what if I couldn't protect her? Sometimes, it was hard enough watching my own back. Hell, Pain nearly won.

What was I supposed to say to Hinata?

I really didn't want to hurt her. She was surprisingly cute, a blush across her face. It kind of saddened me. If there wasn't a demon in me, I'd probably jump her right there and then. She was adorable...

And that was the worst part. Over the past three days, I'd been sitting diligently by her bed side. Well, disregarding the time that Hiashi threw me out. (he hadn't particularly happy to see 'a ruffian spending time in my daughter's presence without a supervisor'.) And in that time... hell, I was developing a crush on the poor girl.

And it didn't help that she admitted that she loved me.

I may have even been able to remain in denial if it wasn't for Kiba. At first, I'd thought that person she meant in love as friends, maybe. I glanced over at the door, frowning. The dog boy had found the need to fill me in on every little detail he knew about Hinata's crush on me.

Hinata started to play with her hair, twirling her locks around one finger. I watched her, putting my chin onto my arms. Where to start? How to let her down easy?

Though, that truly wasn't the biggest problem.

The biggest problem was that I didn't want to let her down. At all.

I mean, she loved me. People don't just... love. Not easily, you know? Geez...

Hinata's eyes raised, and met mine for a moment. Then back down they fell, focusing on the bed sheets.

Shino was right. If I rejected her, I would probably crush her.

I didn't want to crush her.

I didn't want to reject her.

And, I reasoned, she could protect herself. I mean, she even injured Pain some when she attacked. To defeat pain, I had to go into six-tail form. Heck, I was already having to defend the whole village. Defending her a little more fiercely... it wouldn't be that much of a problem.

Cute was a great word to describe Hinata. I smirked, as she innocently continued to play with her hair. Shy. Ironic, as I was just about the boldest thing in the world. I had no problem with running through town screaming at the top of my lungs. (Do note that that was a dare from Kiba. I mean, I had to do it.)

I almost wished I'd taken note of Hinata was a kid. According to Kiba and Shino, there were plenty of signs; I was just too idiotic to take notice of any of them. To think she'd almost died, and I hadn't once taken notice of her...

She continued to play with her hair.

I really, really didn't know what to say. I never really was good with girls. Once, while on a mission with Shikamaru's team, Ino had burst out crying. Apparently, Sasuke had called her outfit ugly. So naturally she came running to me.

"Ah, sorry?" I'd said, patting the girl on the back. She then proceeded to slap me, hard.

Hinata was different though. I doubt she was gonna slap me. In fact, I doubted she could even speak right now, by her trembling.

Damn it, I needed advice. Letting out a sigh, I gazed out the window. I'd promised Sakura not to let it depress me... but right now, Kaka-sensei's advice would be great.

I miss you. I couldn't help but think. Hell, I'd just lost two of my teacher's in quick succession. I was practically all by myself.

"A-ah... um... N-naruto-k-kun..." So, she could speak. I glanced up, surprised, to find her eyes on me. Still shaking, of course. ".. um... I'm... sorry..." You got to be kidding me. The girl looked like someone just stabbed her puppy. Shit. Did I really matter that much to her? I mean...

Crap, was I blushing?

Rubbing my check, I let out another sigh.

"Hinata..." I really didn't want to break her heart. And I realized, hell, I didn't have the heart to break her heart. Well, there's only one thing to do then, I thought.

Hinata's eyes widened as I leapt out of the chair and walked over to her.

"Eh, N-n-n-naru-" She couldn't even get my name out, she was trembling so bad. I grinned slightly; scaring her wasn't my goal, but... well, she did look adorable, sitting there fidgeting, a bright blush on her face.

"Don't apologize," I told her, taking her chin. Okay, time for all of that training with Jiraiya to pay off.

Kissing. Okay, I like kissing. I thought, as I pushed my lips against hers. Soft, warm... was that vanilla I tasted? Jeez, she was so sweet... I ran my hands through her hair, surprised to find it silky soft. Hadn't I ever touched her hair before? Seemingly not... but now, I wanted to touch it more.

The white eyed girl was stiff to my touch, at least for the first few moments.

Then, she was fervently kissing me back, and suddenly my world exploded. My lips, working against hers, her hands on my chest and in my hair.

I can't remember just when I pinned her to the bed, but, any which way, Hiashi was not pleased at the situation he found us in. I'd almost have preferred to face Pain again, rather then her father.

And so, I found myself exiled from her hospital room.

- x - x - x -

Today was the day though. The day she was getting released. I leaned against the wall, watching the door to the hospital. Today, Sakura wasn't even letting me in the hospital. Hiashi had spent the better part of the morning in Hinata's room, and the last thing Sakura needed, or so she said, was more machines broke.

It's not my fault I tripped over Hinata's heart monitoring thing when Hiashi's dad went after me.

The doors creaked open, and I grinned as barking reached my ears. Akamaru dashed out first, before turning and woofing at the ninjas following him. Kiba, Hinata, and Shino followed slower, talking quietly among themselves. Sakura had promised me to distract Hiashi as soon as Hinata was released, to give me a chance to speak with her. Sure enough, the Hyuuga clan leader was no where in sight.

As I approached, Kiba let out a laugh, and he and Shino peeled off from Hinata. She blushed, like usual, her eyes on the ground. But she was smiling. I decided quickly I liked that smile.

"Hey," I said cheerfully, reaching out and grabbing a piece of her hair once I got to her.

"Hi," she responded softly, her eyes still on the ground. Her face reddened.

Chuckling, I pulled her face up to meet mine.

"Get away from my daughter!"

"Shit!" Oh well. There would be plenty of other times to make out with the stuttering angel later.

Turning on a dime, I darted off before Hiashi could jyuuken the snot out of me.

- x - x - x -

A/N: I hoped you enjoyed this little NaruHina story. :)
It was originally written in 2009 when I was 16.
In 2018, I lightly updated some of the grammar and formatting.