Before I Begin...
Hello. I received alot of reviews for my first Naruto and Hinata story Nine Years. At this present time this is the couple I'm most interested in, so I apologize to the fans of my other stories who have been anticipating updates for my Gundam Seed fanfictions. I'm just suffering major writer's blocks for those stories so in an attempt to clear my head and improve my prose I'll be writing a collection of NaruHina one-shots based on a variety of different themes, that have occurred to me in the past year. I just have a few notes before I begin.
1. Reviews are very welcome; in fact, they're what encourage fanfiction authors to keep writing so please review. They can be positive or negative. Since, my information might be inaccurate or misspelled despite my best attempts feel free to correct me. I don't know enough about the Naruto anime/manga to write accurately on certain points. Reviewers are also welcome to suggest their own themes, however, this does not mean I will use them since I need to be inspired to write and some themes may not appeal to me I apologize in advance if you suggest a theme and I don't write about it.
2. My updates will be sporadic, occurring rarely or in multiples. It all depends on the length of the story and the current occurrences in my life. However, since all of the chapters are one-shots each will be able to stand alone; there won't be any cliffhangers during my times of absence and you can reread the one-shots over again.
3. Although the one-shots will stand-alone there be some that become two-shots or appear interconnected those interpretations are up to you, the reader. But as it is there will most likely be very few one-shots that will interconnect. Unless there is an overwhelming response for a sequel I may or may not write another chapter for one of the themes.
4. These one-shots will focus on Naruto and Hinata most likely from a romantic view but there will be some bittersweet stories and, hopefully, no tragedies. There may be hints of other couples but the main focus is Naruto and Hinata. There is no concrete timeline or world, so some stories may take place in our everyday world or at different points in the Naruto timeline. I am also attempting to use different interpretations of the themes, so with luck the one-shots will be charming, unexpected, and funny. (fingers crossed)
Anyways I've said my piece. Obviously you can skip this section and move right into the one-shot collection but I just wanted to get my thoughts written out in case of future questions.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and my stories. Your support is appreciated. I do not own Naruto.
PS – Happy Holidays! Please Review!
#01 - Parallel
Hinata stared blankly ahead as she sat on a boulder in the middle of the crater, which had once been The Village Hidden in the Leaves. Perhaps it had once been part of a building, maybe her school or home, but she didn't really care. The war was over, but the wounds had yet to heal. She closed her eyes sadly trying to block out, what people would term as a beautiful sunset. The golden rays tinged with red held no beauty for her anymore. No one was looking for her, of that she was certain, there was no one left to look.
Due to their unique skills most of the Hyuuga had been forced to strain their chakra and Byakugan in order to maintain constant surveillance throughout the war, making them extremely vulnerable when Tobi had attacked. Most of her clan had died in that final battle because they had been unable to defend themselves. Her father was gone. Hanabi had been so devastated by the news she had refused to talk to her, holing herself away in a tent swearing to never talk to her sister again. Hinata, thankfully, had been fast enough to protect Neji, the protégée, but he had suffered severe injuries and was still in a coma. She had also lost her real family that night. Kiba, Akamaru, and Shino had all been killed. She sighed heavily opening her eyes sadly. But she had no more tears to cry, nothing left to lose, and for the first time in her life she was angry at Naruto.
Naruto. Who everyone had tried so hard to protect had joined the battle instead of staying hidden. He played right into Tobi's and Kabuto's trap. His arrival was just what they had wanted because it confused everyone, and shortened the time for the ninja army to plan a counterattack against the enemy. The demise of almost the entire ninja alliance had been swift after Naruto revealed himself.
She growled angrily. Everything always worked out for Naruto, she wanted to cry at how ironic it was. He was an orphan; now he was the son of the fourth Hokage. He had no friends, and now everyone shouted his name in the streets, and everyone talked to and accepted him. He got the girl of his dreams and his best friend back. She hadn't stayed for that part, immediately escaping when Sakura kissed Naruto as he emerged from the battlefield triumphantly carrying Tobi's mask.
Did she not deserve a sliver of happiness? She had trained just as hard, been ignored just as much, beaten and belittled by her own family, and now she had nothing. She was happy for Naruto, there was no way she couldn't be happy, but at the moment she was overwhelmed with the bitterness of her fate. Why?
"WHY!" she wailed at the sky completely abandoning her shyness, "WHY! What did I ever do to you! What sin could I have committed to deserve to be suffocated in loneliness and despair?" She panted heavily, lowering her face to her knees. There was nothing left of her chunin vest, and her forehead protector had been lost somewhere in the battle; not that she wanted to wear it anymore. She was so thankful that Kurenai and her son were alive but that didn't get rid of the sting of all that had transpired. She would never be a child again; her innocence had been eradicated.
She looked around the hole remembering what had occurred in another hole similar to this one. Did she not deserve a response? Was she so beneath the Great Naruto now that he had no time to waste on someone who encouraged and supported him when no one else would? She knew her thoughts were clouded in anger, and hated herself more for thinking such cruel things, but there was a bit of truth to them. Why had Naruto not talked to her since that battle, at all? Her question remained unanswered as the wind moved through her hair. She cast her eyes downward before whispering,
"Come out." Naruto stepped out from the shadows and walked towards her carefully - unsure of how to talk to the grieving heiress.
"I...uh...hear Neji is going to recover."
"That is only if he wakes up." Naruto was taken aback by the acidity in Hinata's voice which was usually so cheerful and full of hope. She seemed so...broken. He could relate. Losing Jiraiya had hurt; a lot, and he could only imagine how much pain Hinata was in after losing both her family and her teammates. But she had to cheer up the war was over! Peace would be possible. There was no point in wallowing in the past.
"You didn't stutter," he questioned. He had meant it as a compliment, as a testament to all that she had achieved but as her face clouded with anger he realized she had not taken it as one.
"It seems kind of impossible now," said Hinata, as her eyes focused on the horizon, "The only reason I stuttered was because I was afraid. I'm not afraid anymore." Naruto looked at her confused.
"What were you afraid of?"
"You. Not the Kyuubi part though," added Hinata as she imagined the crestfallen look on her crush's face, "No. I liked you so much that I was afraid you would be disappointed in me, like everyone else was. I stuttered, blushed, fainted, and acted weird because I was afraid." Naruto didn't know what to say. He still hadn't figured out to respond to the girl's confession and now she was openly saying she liked him, again!
"What? Who would ever be disappointed in you!" growled Naruto, "You're great." Hinata let out a very long breath. Before turning around to fully look at him.
"Then you really didn't bother to know me at all, did you?" she stated before she walked past him, "You saw me but never looked." She continued walking fully intending to climb out of the crater and go find some tree to sleep in when a body blocked her way.
"Naruto, it's pointless. The time to talk to me is gone," he was taken aback by the dropped suffix, "Leave me alone." He grabbed her shoulders stiffly, gently shaking her.
"I want to know." Hinata looked up at him. He looked so earnest, so ready to listen.
"Do you really want to know?"
"Yes!" She pushed him towards the rock she had previously occupied.
"Sit," he sat obediently, "You and I aren't so different. We're reflections of each other." Naruto looked confused and then blushed scarlet as Hinata removed her jacket and mesh undershirt leaving her in nothing but a bandage bra to secure her breasts in place. He could imagine what his sensi would say if he saw this but quickly ignored those thoughts.
"Hinata! What...what are you doing!"
"Do you remember when you were a child and you were beaten on a regular basis." It was a statement, not a question because they both knew the answer. She stepped closer to Naruto as the light faded and twilight descended into the manmade valley.
"This was the scar Pein gave me," she pointed to a nasty mark on her breast, "It's counterpart is on my back." She turned around and Naruto's eyes widen at all the scars and markings, which littered her skin there was no area that did not hold a disfigurement.
"Are...are those from missions?" There were too many to count, almost as many as he had from his childhood. He desperately wanted to reach out and touch them.
As a jinchuriki he had been denied physical contact and never had anyone to kiss the hurt away. As he stared at Hinata's body he felt an innate need to comfort her the way he had never been and obviously she had never experienced either. But he maintained control because what was occurring between them right now would stop if he didn't let her speak, he would take away her confidence by touching her.
"No. I'd never let my enemy inflict this sort of damage. No," she whispered quietly, "These are from my family. This one," she pointed to a particularly large one which extended from her right shoulder blade to her left hip, "Was given to me by father when he found out I talked to you in the playground."
"This one," she pointed to one that ran along the length of her spine, "Was inflicted by Neji after his father was killed and he felt I deserved to suffer for his death. The rest were most likely given to me by the Elders and my sister who thought I was insignificant and weak. There were so many mornings when I woke up in the training room lying in a pool of my own blood because no one had bothered to treat me after I lost a sparring match."
Naruto tried to swallow the lump in his throat. It was just like his childhood. He wasn't talking to someone who could empathize with him, he was talking to someone who had experienced as much pain or even more then he had.
"As I grew up you gave me hope that with hard work and determination I could change."
"Hinata, I-" she held up her hand to stop him.
"I'm not done. Would you believe that when I first met my team they were no nicer to me than Sasuke and Sakura were to you?"
"Can you imagine my disappointment when we weren't placed on a team together and that first words Kiba said to me were, 'Great, we got the failed heiress.' He apologized later but those were the first words my teammate said to me because that is what the kinsmen in his clan called me. I had no friends and none of the girls talked to me. All my classmates made fun of me - just like you. The quiet one, the failure, the blind heiress."
"Do you remember how you pined for Sakura? Always chasing after her and telling her your feelings, asking her out on dates? I would have given anything for you to talk to me once! How you felt every time she rejected you was how I felt everyday! I kept dreaming about some prince or hero that would rescue me from my problems but he never came. I had to rescue myself. We are mirrors of each other and I'm sick and tried of looking at a reflection that never looked back." Naruto looked at Hinata stunned as the moon rose in the night sky, illuminating the valley making everything look more frightening and hostile. But in this place where so much had once been and so much had happened he felt he had to tell the truth.
"I haven't responded to Sakura's confession," Hinata flinched at his words, "I have to do these things in order, or it won't feel right."
"You'll listen to me right?" Hinata looked at him perplexed.
"When have I ever not listened to you Naruto? You just never bothered to talk to me." She had listened to him all her life, she couldn't stop now even if she wanted to.
"I'm not sure if I love Sakura the way a man loves a woman anymore," Hinata raised her eyebrow, "I think it has devolved into the love of a friend and comrade. When she kissed me...I felt, well, nothing...romantic."
"But that doesn't mean you like me like that either," chastised Hinata.
"Naruto, when I confessed to you it wasn't with the expectation that you would instantly fall in love with me, come find me, and sweep me off my feet," she sighed, "Love doesn't work like that. Loving someone is so powerful it makes you do crazy things, when I confessed it was so that if I died I wouldn't have any regrets."
"You were the first person to tell me."
"That you loved me. The first."
"That doesn't give me seniority rights to your affection. It just means I was the first to admit it," laughed Hinata, "You'd be surprised but you have quite the fan club now." It was strange to admit that after Pein's attack a lot of the girls had gone ga-ga for Naruto but it was the truth. Who wouldn't want to be in love with a hero?
"I wish things were different," whispered Naruto as both he and Hinata looked at the stars. So many things could have been different if Hinata had been braver and him less oblivious. It had taken a war for them to talk to each other.
"Naruto, do you remember Ninja Academy?"
"How could I forgot?" he tried to joke, choking on the painful memories,
"Aside from ninja skills we were taught other subjects. I believe we're two parallel lines. Two lines that pass each other but never meet. You and I are so similar yet we keep passing each other. I think that must be our fate. We can be beside each other forever but never together."
"Why?" Naruto looked at Hinata shocked. It sounded like...like she was saying good-bye. But there was so much more he wanted to say, so much more! Something had changed. It was as if Hinata was no longer within his reach.
"I need to go Kurenai-sensei is expecting me."
"Naruto, don't look so scared I'm not leaving. Sensei really is expecting me, and besides I just told you I will always be beside you. So don't worry. Go back to your team," she looked at him choosing her words carefully, "Naruto, if I loved you less perhaps I could talk about it more." (A/N: That line is from Emma by Jane Austen. Fantastic author!) With that she walked away and Naruto spent the next two hours staring blankly at the space she had once occupied.