Warning: It's sad. Be beware of it.

I wrote the original in 2006.

I tried to translate it. Sorry for the mistakes. ^^;

Naruto © Masashi Kishimoto

Fanfiction © Wings-chan


...and yet so close...

His blond hair flied slightly in the emerging wind, so that a few strands of his hair fell before his face, they partly covered his blue eyes, but the sparkling in them was still visible. Also the smile on his face told me all what he felt and thought.

On the day when I saw him for the last time, he just smiled and I cried. At that time I didn't know that this goodbye would be forever, but I cried of other reasons, which had happened short before this.

"Na-... Naruto-kun."

Slightly and a bit distant I called his name so that I got his attention. Immediately the boy, who I loved so much for all these years, but hadn't said it ever to him, turned around and beamed at me.

"Hinata, good that you came." He said radiant with joy and looked down to me. He became really tall. It was no wonder, since we all already matured to adults. And despite the time, which had passed, nothing had change at my love to him. Even when back then I only were twelve years old, the love, which I felt for him, has grown stronger while the time passed.

I couldn't do anything against it. I didn't want to. If he would feel the same for me someday? I deeply doubted it.

"Why did you want that I came here today?" It was the question, which bothered me the whole time, since he stood before my door yesterday and begged me to come to the front door of the village early at the morning. The only thing I knew was that he had to go with a few other ninjas of our villages on a mission. And this day was today.

"Ehm... that..." Naruto started to beat around the bush. That was not at all his normal manner. Slightly embarrassed he looked aside as if he didn't know how he should say it to me. I could be wrong, but I saw a litte blush on his cheeks. What got him to get so embarrassed? Was it me? I didn't know it.

"Hinata." Now he looked directly at me again and took my hands in his own, squeezing them lightly. I turned red and looked to the ground. Why did he do this?

"I... it's not easy for me, but I just have to say it. Please look me in the eyes!" He requested and I did it reluctantly.

"I really like you a lot, Hinata. I just recognized it too late. Still I would be happy if you would go on a date with me, when I am back from my mission." Naruto was now even redder than before, but didn't turn away his glance, just looked into my white eyes, which stared at him too. I didn't know what I should say. I was totally shocked about the things I heard. He, Naruto Uzumaki, wanted to go on a date with me? It was like a dream I longed for all the time and this should really come true now. I hardly could believe it. Even when I haven't said something immediately, he still waited patiently for my answer.

"Naruto... I would really like to go on a date with you." I uttered quietly, looked him briefly in the eyes and turned my face ashamed to the ground.

"I promise you, Hinata." He grinned widely, released my hands and departed from me. The other of members of his team went ahead. Only he had waited for me to arrive. I heard his footsteps departing from me, raised my head again and quickly covered the up coming tears with my palms. I couldn't hold them back any longer.

He was away. On the space, where he had stand a few minutes ago, there wasn't anything more. No Naruto or something, that could imply his presence. Quickly he vanished before my eyes – just like a flash. Yet I have seen it – his beautiful smile, which he only had given to me on the blink of an eye. I looked after him for a bit, even though I couldn't see him with my eyes anymore. Nevertheless I was shocked at the things, which just had happened. With the back of my hand I wiped away the tears from my face, tried to stay strong for him and to wait til he would come back to cash his promise.

The months passed by and nothing happened. No sign of life or something else which could gave you hope. They were vanished off the face of the earth. Neither was Naruto seen alive, nor any other member of his team. They had send other ninjas to search for them, but all this without success.

I only sat in my room. The most of the time I sat on the window board and just looked outside in hope that he would appear and smile at me again, but it didn't happen.

I just sat there, the legs pulled to my body and hugging them with my arms, I laid my head against the cool windowpane and asked myself alway the same questions. Where were you? When would you come back to me again? Did you feel well? And a lot more questions, which no one could give me an answer to.

A single tear ran down my pale skin, but it shouldn't stay just this one. More tears followed. I couldn't stop to cry anymore. But I didn't hide my tears, I allowed them to fall. Crying I stared into the distance, whether the sun was shining, it rained or something else happened outside. Of all this acts of God, which were normal for the autumn weather, I liked the rain the most. It reflected the things, which depressed me the whole time. It was just the right weather to my situation. You couldn't discribe it any other way.

Sometimes I just laid on my bed and stared up to the ceiling. Didn't think at anything, at least I tried it, but soon the old questions came back. I missed him. This uncertainty weared me out. Not to know where he was, how he was doing, whether he was still alive – that was the hardest. I hardly ate without any appetite. Everyone was worried about me and they tried to cheer me up, but it wouldn't work so long til he wouldn't be back whole and well.

Today I know that it wouldn't be like before ever again. More months had passed. It was already winter. And a short while ago the shocking message came, which I didn't want to believe.

Now I stood here holding a bunch of white orchids in my hands, wearing black clothes before the memorial stone of Konoha. A lot of name of the fallen ninjas were written on it. They all died in a fight, on a mission or for the welfare of the village. Now his name was also written on it. I stroked slightly with the stretched index finger above each letter and read quitely his name.

"Uzumaki Naruto." It was just a breath, but the knowledge of his death stabbed me directly in the heart. It hurted. I refused to believe it.

"No, that can't be true. YOU CAN'T BE DEAD!" The last words I screamed out of my throat. I couldn't prevent it.

"You have promised it..." Again and again I repeated the same sentence. I hoped that he would hear me and maybe he would say: "I fooled you. That was just a joke." But I knew that this here was the painful reality. Nothing and no one could ever bring him back to me.

"You have promised it to me... Naruto." My voice became quieter, that I couldn't even hear it myself, and my lips moved without making any sound. Weakened I sank to the ground, supported myself lightly with my outstretched arms, not to loose my balance completly. The orchids felt from my hands and laid beside the memorial stone.

Again tears ran down my cheeks and this time it were more than in the past months. I cried – cried about him. The love, which I had lost forever. The only person, whom I had given my heart. Never again I could love someone like I loved him.

"Why?" It was just a whisper, but I felt that he gave me an answer. I didn't know if I was totally crazy now, but I recognized his voice.

"Don't cry, Hinata. Not because of me." It was like the breath of the wind, which carried his voice to my ear.

Fast I held my head up and still tear-stained I looked at the memorial stone. Shocked my eyes widen and I hardly believed what I saw there.

"Na... Naruto?" He stand behind the memorial stone, leaned with the arms against it and looked me in the eyes. I could see through his body the forest, which was behind him. He was just a ghost or an imagination of my fantasy, but he seemed so real and close to me.

"I'm sorry that I couldn't convert my promise to you." He talked again. The wind blew gently and blew my hair right before my face. For a short moment my view at him was blocked. Yet I heard his last words, which the wind took away with it: "I will stay forever in your heart, Hinata."

When I pushed the hair out of my face, he was vanished, but I still heard his last words, which the wind slowly took along.

Even if he was unreachable for me now, he was still closer to me than ever before. I would never forget him, but rather preserve him in my heart.

"Thank you, Naruto." I breathed and a small smile was seen on my face. It was his way giving back the smile to the people. Even with me he managed it. I knew now that I wouldn't be alone anymore. He would be always by my side.