Ch8. Finding words.

Hinata stood behind Hana, her hand on the little girls head.

"M-mum?" Hana looked up to see Hinata's face with a small smile. Hana smiled, the tears still flowed down her cheeks hot and cool on her face all at the same time. Only now they were out of happiness. She would be free from having to carry such an unreasonable burden. Hinata then turned to Sai.

"Sai, I understand your feelings for wanting to keep us safe. But if you say anything that upsets her again.." Hinata never finished her sentence, only glared at Sai through activated Byakugan. He nodded.

"I'm sorry. I never intended it to be like this." Then, as if the world had crashed down on him. Naruto slumped back into his chair.

"Hinata. You're really?" Naruto looked dazed and a little out of it.

"Yes, I am" Everyone, except Sai, Hana, Neji and Hinata herself sat agape.

"How?..." Naruto mumbled. Sai looked like he wanted to talk about the birds and the bees but one sharp glare from Sakura told him it would be out of line.

"That's something I'd like to discuss when we have more time.." Hinata indicated to the 3 waiter's headed their way.

Everyone ate in silence, even if some wanted to talk about it and find out more, none of them wanted to be disrespectful. Hana looked to her parents. She analysed Naruto's face. He was curious and nervous and a total mess of emotions. Her mother was only a little more level headed.

Naruto kept glancing at Hinata, as if he were checking repeatedly if it really was her.

Hana supressed a small giggle at his odd behaviour.

Once they'd all eaten and everyone had paid and left, Naruto paid for Hinata, Hana and himself. On the way out Naruto took Hana's hand in his and her tiny hand wrapped around his fingers. Hana then gave Naruto a small jab and hinted towards Hinata. Naruto nodded, blushed and offered his hand for Hinata to take. Hinata, being Hinata Blush a bright pink and hesitantly took his hand. Together they strolled down the red lantern lit festival.

After a few hours of walking, visiting game stalls and buying some souvenirs they eventually found themselves completely enjoying the cool night air. Naruto then decided they had been in silence long enough.

"Hinata, umm.." Naruto blushed not quite sure how to bring up the subject.

"Y-yes, Naruto-kun?" Hinata looked up from Hana, clinging to their arms as they hoisted her into the air in a swinging motion.

"I was wondering. About 'that' night…" Naruto let his sentence trail off, feeling awkward about the subject.

"W-well, that night we were both very d-drunk. And I have always had a c-crush on you" Hinata blushed deeply and together they stopped swinging Hana. Hana pouted but understood that what they were saying was important and weighted.

"R-really?" Naruto was surprised and Hinata was somewhat confused.

"I mean, after the war you never really spoke to me. I kind of thought you hated me… actually" Naruto looked at her closely. Her purple kimono really made her eyes stand out, and her raven hair made her very feminine.

"Ah, it's seems… You really don't remember…" Hinata frowned a little. It was hard for her to confess to him the way she had, however she didn't regret it. Even though she had never received an answer, the knowledge that she had the strength to say it, and that she was able to protect him with all her might was enough for her.

"During Pein's invasion of Konoha, you were trapped by some of Pein's chakra rods…"

Naruto then thought back to when he was 16, fighting against Pain had given him a stronger will, and had allowed him to feel so much hatred and at the same time, peace. The thought that peace was possible was because of Pein. Not for Pein's ideals, but because Pein's ideals were what held the world back from peace. Naruto nods, remembering the fight well. There was still something missing though- something about the time before he blacked out, before he turned into the six tailed Kyuubi cloak. Naruto nodded, he vaguely remembered Hinata showing up. The change to six tails being so sudden left Naruto with fragments of his memory before the change.

'Hey, Kurama? Can you show me anything from the fight with Pein?' Naruto directed his thoughts to the Kyuubi. The Kyuubi stirred.

'I suppose, seeing as you'll need it.' The Kyuubi then went back to sleep.

Naruto then gets a flash of Hinata whispering to him, hurt and unstable. Naruto then slowly uncovers her words.

"Because… I love you" Then once the memory ended another is returned. It is of Hinata being lifted through the air and tossed back onto the ground. Naruto, in horror wants to forget this memory. He watches on, unable to help as Hinata is killed with one of Pein's chakra rods.

Hinata waits a moment as Naruto nods.

"I remember it now." Naruto smiles a little, with tears welling in his eyes. Hinata is stunned at his reaction.

"I'm sorry" Hinata murmurs. Naruto looks at her.

"What for?"

"For not being able to protect you. I failed, Naruto-kun" Hinata's eyes welled up now too. Naruto gasped a little at her words.

"Don't be. If anything, I should be the one saying sorry. I couldn't save you when you were…" They let the conversation trail off. Hana steps back to allow them to stand side by side.

Naruto looks Hinata in the eyes and says

"Hinata…" Hinata comes out of a small daze.

"Y-yes?" Another small blush.

"Umm, would you?..." Naruto's cheeks turned pink as he averted her eyes. Naruto couldn't believe he would attempt this, however it seemed wrong not to.

"…Mind telling me again?" Hinata's eyes widened and her cheeks flushed red. She tapped her index fingers together and fidgeted a little.

"I-I love you, Naruto-" Hinata is stopped by Naruto pulling her forwards. Naruto's lips firmly planted on hers. Hinata's eyes widen before slowly shutting to enjoy the surprise kiss. Hana watches almost overwhelmed with joy. Their kiss ends as Hana almost shouts.

"Look, their setting off the fireworks!" Hana grins. Her parents both look into each-others' eyes then, to the bright bursts of fireworks that filled the sky. Naruto grabbed Hana's hand and wrapped an arm around Hinata as they watched the fireworks.

After the fireworks display is done Naruto is greeted by three men.

The first is an Anbu with a dog mask.

The other two are from the Hyuuga clan.

Author's Note:

Cliffhanger again.
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