Blinded By the Sun

Is this what she deserved? No. But she had gotten it. Did she deserve her heart broken into millions of glass fragments, cutting deeper into her flesh, and even slashing her eyes with tears? Even her all-seeing eyes could not see through the shower of her heart's pieces, blinding her from anything related to reality. She succumbed into the recesses of her mind, living in her memories and daydreams.

But she had never really been noticed by Naruto. She had claimed that it was 'love', but love isn't one-sided. It doesn't last if it isn't-or was never-returned. It runs dry with nothing to replenish on. But her 'love' was running like a waterfall-she was so selfish. If he liked another girl, then so be it. If she really loved him, then she would be happy. She wasn't. She just gave up on him and strived for a much better goal; to protect him with her life. But how was she to do that, with constant flashes of what could have been, making her a useless, dreamy Barbie doll?

If it wasn't for everyone around her suddenly confessing at the brink of death, she might have been better off. But when TenTen had been knocked down brutally, right in front of Neji, who had been fatigued and partially blind, he finally realized his care for his teammate reached farther than just as friends. Hinata even remembered one from Nara-san, as she, Shino, and Kiba were also sent to the same area; they were the investigative lookout group. Shikamaru had said the exact words, "I know it's troublesome-and I never planned anything like this. Troublesome woman-Temari-I want to spend my life with you." With that, a fight issued. Shikamaru had gained an advantage with the shadow techniques, but when the shadows had been reduced to their minimum, the opponent won and quickly shoved a kunai through an organ-the liver-and the chunin collapsed, seeping blood.

Hinata could sense the terror in the Suna jonin's eyes; watching the red substance quickly spread, like the opening of a hawk's wings as it descended to afterlife… But as fate would have it, Ino and Shizune appeared in time to save the Nara. Temari was overjoyed at this and declared that once the war was over, she would become not Temari of Sunagakure, but Temari Nara; strengthening the alliance between Konoha and Suna.

Why? Why did everyone she know escape death's boney grasp, just as she, but had gotten a response to their declaration of unwavering love? Naruto had never even talked to her after the incident. It would have been easier if the jinchuriki had just rejected her-she would know that the meaning in her life had been stripped away, and she could be dismissed. She stayed true to the name of 'Leaf'. So in love with Naruto, who was a whirpool, she spun and spun until she was lost.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Hinata got up from her plush bed and slowly took the damp cloth from her clammy forehead. Standing up, she clambered in slow, agonizing steps as each time her foot connecting with the wood beneath, the bomb ticking in her mind got closer to its explosion.

A blonde-haired man laughed, spraying instant ramen out of his mouth. The offensive noodles landed on top of a small bundle, prodding the infant inside to shriek in disgust.

"MAAAA! WAHHHHHHHHHH! MAHHHHHHHHH! EHHHHHHHHHHH! EEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

"Naruto-kun," a soft voice asked, "Did you get food on her again?"

The man laughed once more. "Come on, Hinata. I'm the Hokage! I have a right to accidentally-"

"APH SPREHHHHHH!" PLOP. Trickles of slobber and ramen broth slipped down Naruto's face.

"GROSS! SHE SPIT IT OUT AT ME!"

Hinata clutched her head, her fingers biting into her scalp. Endless beads of sweat rolled onto her face, covering for the tears escaping her pearly white eyes.

"Hinata-sama? Hokage-sama want you in her office," said one of the family servants. "An ANBU came and informed us."

The heiress managed to whisper back, "O-o-okay, I-I'll b-b-be t-there."

Once out of the huge Hyuga compound, the sun was bothering her eyes as much as the hot flashes. It reminded her of him. He was essential for her well-being-as represented by the month in bed leaving her sickly pale-yet gave her constant pain, like prodding her eyes to make them water. Her goddess-like black hair was now limp and unruly, with no shine. The gloss to the pearly byakugan was no longer there, as if the beautiful, worthy heiress was not there, and all was left was a hollow reflection.

The near-empty halls of the Hokage's rebuilt office echoed the soft click of her shoes, almost giving the type of effect a horror film wanted before the person fell victim. The lighting in the hall showed her glistening face, reflecting off the millions of sweat droplets racing down her abnormal, pale face. Her pure white eyes-as valuable as ivory from an elephant's tusks-had never shed so many tears in all her life.

And she went through a lot of ordeals-such as being treated like a worthless, talent-less…thing. That held no purpose. What was worse was that even though she meant so much now, someone that reigned over her heart-unknowingly-did not hold her in such high regard in his list of 'special people'. Hinata was in his close friends list-what more could she ask for?-but such heart-wrenching pain…even Sai would not be able to be as emotionless during a feeling like so.

Opening the wooden door connecting the Hokage to the shinobi, the Hyuga heiress walked in with a slight limp. It seemed as if her mental state had affected her physical health as well; she had sore legs, throat, and an insane heat in her forehead that led to some wobbly-ness and slight fainting spells.

She immediately saw him. The brightly shining sun in her life, the only thing that kept her going; Naruto. He hadn't noticed her yet, but the person next to him had. Kiba. He could smell Hinata's sweat and tears, feel the heat radiating off her, and hear the small crack of her ankle joint as she limped. The Hokage furrowed her brow, immediately recognizing an injury, and called out, "Ah, Hinata. You're here."

Naruto turned around and smiled-the smile she fell in love with. "Hinata!" he said loudly in a cheerful voice. She smiled slightly in return and turned to face the Hokage with all the strength and willpower she could muster.

"W-what i-is the m-mission?" she asked softly, her bottom lip trembling.

Tsunade nodded at Hinata in understanding. She had felt the same pain when Dan had passed; but seeing the one you loved alive but oblivious was just as harsh.

She handed the scroll to Hinata. "You are to cross over to deliver these letters to the Rock country. A simple D-rank."

Since the war had ended, with Sasuke on probation in the village, less dangerous missions came in. Hinata hadn't heard from Sakura, Sasuke, or Naruto in the time she was confined in her bed, but the gossip of the townspeople gave her a few details. That the bond between the three was so strong, they had eventually broken through the Uchiha's homicidal rage-albeit after a huge fight.

That made Hinata feel sick to her stomach. She had been in bed while Naruto was fighting an S-class rogue ninja? How could she stay true to her goal?

At times like those, feeling faint and woozy wasn't the best. Leaping from one tall tree to the other, Hinata began to see flash-backs of the times she had with Naruto. Hair whooshing, consciousness slipping, she fell towards the floor below through the branches.

When she came to once more, she saw the sun. Bright, high in the sky. That meant it was noon. But it had already been evening when she had last remembered…she was out for a day? Where were her teammates?

The heiress sat up and looked around. She was at an inn with a maid waiting by her bed.

"Where are my teammates?" she asked worriedly, then clutched her forehead.

The maid looked at Hinata then answered, "Ah, the went on. It was a D-rank mission, no?"

Panting heavily, Hinata used her ninja speed to be out the door before the lady could react. There was this horrible feeling brewing in the pit of her stomach. She knew she could not be anything but hasty, despite her weak condition. She had to shed off her weakness and do something beneficial for the world, just once. She had to do something good for Naruto-kun, just this once.

Running at a speed she never knew she could reach, her byakugan detected a bomb near where Naruto and Kiba were. She saw instantly why Kiba could not detect it; the village she had been dropped off at was famous for making gun-powder and explosives. All the explosive smells mingled together until even his sharp senses could not tell where they all were.

Her pace quickened while she felt a wetness creeping down her face. A tear of happiness. Perhaps the Akatsuki had set that bomb before, or even were still against them. She could help all the countries find out.

But most of all, she would save Naruto-kun's life.

As they stepped to where the bomb was, she appeared, like a shining angel. Pushing them out of the way, she took a second to whisper to Naruto, "Don't forget." Using one last gentle-fist technique, she pulsed chakra into her palms and made them fly as far away from the explosion as possible.

Love makes people do crazy things.

Love blinds people and keeps them from reality.

That voice. She loved it.

"HINATA-CHAN!"

Some people are blinded, and cannot see love.

Even when shining so brightly in front of them.