I do not own Naruto.

Shadows

"We'll see you later Hinata!" Kiba yelled and Hinata bowed her head politely before turning toward the Hyuuga compound. The muscles in her legs protesting madly with each step. Their mission having been successful, Hinata had a ghostly smile etched on to her face.

Hot water pounded on her skull, her protesting muscles sighing with relief. The water seemed to wash away not only the dirt and grime of the mission but also the many anxieties that came along with them. She spent more than the normal time with her shower but stepped back in to her room feeling brand new.

She combed out her hair and slid open her window, relishing in the scent of spring the breeze carried in to her room. Situating herself in a chair, Hinata reached for the book that lay on her desk and immersed herself within the pages of the story.

A soft knock brought her back from the depths of the story and Neji poked his head through the door.

"Hinata-sama, we were invited to a picnic in recognition of the changing weather. Are you interested?" She chewed on her bottom lip uncertainly. It was not often she and her cousin were invited place and since he had become a jounin they had not had much opportunity to spend time together Hinata's smile had never failed to melt her cousin.

"Hai."


Laughter filled her ears as Hinata and Neji approached the place their friends were waiting. Having taken opportunity of their leisure time together, the people in her age group were engaged in a fierce battle of volleyball. Neji took his place between Ten Ten and Lee while Hinata sought a place to continue her reading, glad to be able to enjoy the presence of her friends without having to partake in their exuberant game.

She found comfort beneath a tree, choosing to sit on the side where the sun shone most brightly so she would be able to read in comfort. Enjoying the background noise her friends provided, Hinata found herself once again lost within her book, never having noticed the presence hidden in the shadow of the tree she had chosen.

Sasuke shifted and studied Hinata's form thoughtfully from his hiding place, wondering if he should find somewhere else to be. He blinked as she turned a page and pursed her lips, completely engrossed in what she read.

'I was here first.' Decidedly, he leaned back against the trunk, closing his eyes and wondering vaguely if Naruto and Sakura would notice his absence were he to sneak away.

The sun hung low on the horizon and the picnic was going on well enough without Hinata and Sasuke. The group having felt it beast to leave the pair alone, unable to keep their smiles to themselves when they spotted Hinata's unaware and content face as well as Sasuke's peaceful expression as he slept.

A small sound woke Sasuke from his light slumber. Scowling slightly, he began searching for the source of his disrupted sleep. His body went rigid when he realized it was Hinata who woke him.

Hinata sat with her knees drawn up, hunched over with her hand clutched over her mouth. Tears shone brightly in her eyes and she sniffed quietly. Sasuke pressed his lips together.

'A reaction like that… for a book?' He shifted his weight and leaned out of the shelter of the shadows. Curiosity having out weighed his annoyance.

"Is it really that good?" Hinata yelped and turned, mouth agape, towards Sasuke. He had completely caught her off guard. Keeping his expression bored, he closed the distance between them and began reading over her shoulder.

"A-ano…" She wriggled where she sat but could not bring herself away from Sasuke's powerful presence. Sighing, she tried her best not to be uncomfortable, a blush betraying her attempts by crawling across her face. "T-the prince he-"

"Just died. A fairy tail? I should have guessed." He leaned back but did not move away from Hinata.

He had never cared to know this person, this extremely quiet, mousy, person, but her presence was not unpleasant. She turned back to her page and grimaced.

"He's not dead, they just… Think he's dead."

"Well if you already know what'd going to happen, why are you still reading?" She pouted as she turned to face him.

"I happen to enjoy this book a great deal… Hasn't there ever been a book you've enjoyed so much you wanted to enjoy it again?" Her voice was quiet, a slight hint of sadness caused him to open his eyes. He found himself staring in to the pale expanse of Hinata's hurt gaze. Gulping, he spoke.

"I usually read… Mysteries. So it would be useless to read after the mystery is solved." Hinata blinked. Her lips turned upwards and she tried with great difficulty to conceal her giggles. Sasuke quirked an eyebrow. "What?"

"I would have… Never guessed." Sasuke snorted. Hinata's smile did not fade and she allowed herself to be lost once more in her novel, eager to get to the end.

The two made an odd looking pair. Sasuke, menacing and cold as he was sitting next to the familiar and docile Hinata. From far away you would not be able to notice Hinata's ever growing smile or Sasuke's peaceful contempt that just seemed so right for the two.


I wreched my brain on this and did not turn out how I wanted but oh well. That's it. My entry for the DA DateMe March contest. Tell me what you think.