Shades of pink and lavender dyed the orange sky, casting a soft glow to settle over the quiet and peaceful town of Konoha. Crows flew about in the distance, shedding black feathers as they flapped their wings with pride, their beaks held high.
The young heiress gazed out the open veranda with a wistful look on her lovely face, taking care to not sigh in front of the maid her father had assigned to her. Distress of any sort was what her father considered a weakness, which meant that sighing in front of anyone revealed how weak of a person one really was.
Even in her own home, the Hyuuga was expected to keep up her lady-like image.
Rising slowly from her seat on the tatami flooring, Hinata stood with the expected grace she was praised for. Light-pink silk made up the kimono she wore. It was patterned with white blossoms blooming brilliantly along the elegant sleeves and hem of the kimono. A bright red sash encircled her slender figure, tight around her stomach as she fought back her hidden discomfort and pain. With the innocent suggestion of her maid, Hinata had decided to leave her waist-length hair down, rather than piling it up on top of her head. She was sure the sight would've made the other party laugh.
Make-up was lightly applied to her smooth and flawless face, the most vibrant part being her full red lips with a brush of rouge rather than lipstick. Her father was a traditional man, which applied to her use of cosmetics as well for special occasions. The young woman rarely wore make-up, but then again-just about everything she owned or used was handpicked by her father.
One of the other household maids slid open the door to her personal room, mindful of her manners as she bowed. Hands flat upon the tatami's smooth surface, the young maid waited to be addressed before speaking.
"Is it time already?" the heiress asked, keeping a calm façade despite her churning stomach.
"Yes, the driver has arrived to pick you up," the young woman answered.
With one last mental sigh, Hinata exited the room, filled with anything but joy. She hated omiai's.
Steam rose up in puffs as it filled up her decently-sized bathroom, making it a bit difficult for her to see as she soaked herself thoroughly in the overflowing bathtub. The water was scalding, but it felt good. For Sakura, there was nothing better than submerging herself in hot water after a rigorous after school practice of karate with her juniors.
The rush of water was quick as the pinkette rose from the tub; her pale complexion flushed a deep shade of red. Snatching the hanging white towel from the rack, Sakura wrapped it around her bare and wet body, wringing her hair to the side in order to get rid of any excess water that was left.
Stepping out of the bathroom, Sakura stretched her arms high above her head with a blissful smile on her pretty face. "What a great bath…"
Pulled from her dream-like trance, Sakura found the source of the voice and frowned. "What?"
Sporting a pair of shorts and a sleeveless top with thin straps, Sakura's roommate, also known as, Ino, glared at her from her seat at the desk. With a pair of glasses on and a pen in hand, it was obvious to anyone that the other girl was doing her homework, which left Sakura to wonder why her roommate had just yelled at her despite being busy.
"If you're going to come out of the bathroom like that, then at least dry yourself first!" the other girl growled, throwing her roommate a clean towel from the shelf above her.
Sakura stuck her tongue out at her. "I did dry myself off," she then added quietly, "stupid."
"I heard that." Rather than attacking Sakura as she usually did, the blond continued to jot down words in her notebook diligently, mumbling to herself incoherently as she did so. The sight was unusual to Sakura, since Ino rarely took her studies so seriously.
Approaching her roommate from behind, she peered down at the blonde's work, wondering what it was that had her so focused. Ah, Japanese Literature, her weak point. "Need some help there?" she asked, trying to sound casual about it. She knew her friend hated depending on her for anything, but despite this, she went ahead and asked anyways.
Ino shook her head. "No thanks. I do need a passing mark in the class, but I'm not that desperate." The blond readjusted her glasses. "And besides, if I don't do this by myself, then I'll never get the hang of it."
Sakura shrugged her shoulders, "Just asking." She made use of the towel that had been thrown at her to dry her hair with. Followed by that, she dressed herself up with her most comfortable sleeping clothes-an oversized t-shirt and a pair of shorts.
Throwing herself onto her bed, the pinkette inhaled the sweet and familiar scent of her pillow, burying her face into it as she stared off dazedly into space. Hot, relaxing baths always made her tired afterwards.
Before she could doze off, her roommate called to her. "Hey, aren't you going to do the homework?"
Sakura raised a hand lazily and waved it. "I'll do it tomorrow." After all, she placed first in just about every exam she'd taken.
The next day was rewarding if not heart-pounding.
After getting up early to work on her homework, Sakura had left for club practice earlier than usual, jogging her way to the dojo with little effort.
She'd been intercepted by many, with offers of sweets or drinks, but as usual, she politely declined their offers, never stopping completely unless she really had to.
It wasn't until she'd run into Hyuuga Hinata that she really had to.
Stopping completely, the pinkette worked up her courage to come out and say something to the approaching Hyuuga, not sure if she would ever have another chance like this.
She was even prettier than usual, with her straight and glossy hair floating behind her as it caught the soft breezes of the spring winds. Her hands were folded over the schoolbag she held in front of her, rather than the side like most girls did. Silver orbs of moonlight were downcast in a demure manner, despite her straight and elegant posture.
As usual, the girl carried herself as a refined young woman should.
With both girls going in opposite directions, Sakura knew that it was now or never. If she didn't say something soon, then the Hyuuga was most likely to never notice her, nor would they ever get to properly introduce themselves to one another.
Ten feet. She was ten feet away from her, not slow, but somewhat evenly-paced as she walked-no, more like glided along the pathway.
C'mon, just do it already! She cried to herself.
The knee-length skirt looked lovely on her. On other girls, it would've looked strange, but the vice-captain of the archery club managed to pull it off without seeming out of date with today's style.
Six feet. Six feet away and Sakura still found it impossible to say anything. She'd never felt this shy before, which made her wonder, why was she shy in the first place? She'd always been a rather sociable person, and had no problems speaking in front of large crowds.
Her long legs were absolutely stunning to look at, smooth and pale. She was enchanting with every step she took. Sakura was awed just watching her. It was like gazing upon royalty. No, that wasn't it. The Hyuuga was royalty as far as Sakura was concerned. After milking others for more information on the other girl, Sakura had found out, for a second time, how different the worlds they lived in were.
Two feet! She had to say something now!
Mustering all of the strength she could, Sakura cried out just as the Hyuuga walked past her, "I…I THINK YOU'RE REALLY C-COOL!"
A soft wind blew, and all that was heard was complete silence. With her eyes shut in anticipation, Sakura waited for Hinata to answer.
An eternity seemed to pass by before the Hyuuga said "Eh?"
Spinning around to face the other girl, Sakura blushed as she held the back of her head, glancing down shyly at the ground before raising her eyes to meet the Hyuuga's properly. Her outburst had been completely strange, if not entirely awkward, but she decided to use this chance to explain herself.
"Um, that is…I've seen you once during the archery's club practice…and-you were just really cool at the time. To be honest, I've never seen someone look as beautiful as you did that day. But…anyways, I was hoping we could maybe be friends and-"
The other girl's reaction wasn't quite what she'd expected. Pale eyes were wide with surprise; her alabaster skin flushed a lovely pink. Rather than beautiful and dignified, she seemed more…cute and bashful at the moment.
Is this the same girl I saw at the archery grounds a few days ago?
"Oh…um…that is…th-thank you."
Sakura couldn't help but blush as well. The girl looked so embarrassed. Never had she seen anyone turn as red as a lobster. "Y-You're welcome."
The two stood there, silent as they stared at the ground in embarrassment. Sakura again worked up the courage to speak first. "Ah, my name is Haruno Sakura. I…I was wondering, will you be my friend? I mean, if you want to that is."
The Hyuuga stared at Sakura in a way she was not accustomed to. It was a strange look, as if she didn't believe it or something. The girl tried again. "Um…?"
"Oh!" As though she'd just awoken from a trance, Sakura watched as Hinata bowed to her apologetically. "I'm sorry about that, I just…I've never been approached this way in such a manner."
Sakura emotionally deflated. "Oh, is that so…?"
The heiress, however, seemed to immediately pick up on this and corrected herself. "N-Not that it's a bad thing of course, in fact, I feel…quite happy." Her smile was angelic as she directed it towards Sakura, who in turn, was suddenly overwhelmed.
Geeze, why is she so pretty?!
"Haruno Sakura-san," Hinata began. "I…I would love to be your friend."
A/N: Ah, good God, this chapter was a real handful to write. I honestly found it difficult to portray Hinata as a beautiful and refined young lady. I'm gonna need a few more references if there's to be future chapters.
But anyways, I'm really thankful for the reviews every one. The last three I received really encouraged me to write more, while convincing me that maybe I don't suck as bad at writing as I think I do. So, if possible, please give me your honest thoughts on this chapter.