Innocently in Love: Remake
A NARUHINA FANFICTION
I love you though my heart hurts
though you are looking someplace else
Like a scarecrow, like a sad doll
I will always be waiting
"Roses are red. Your eyes are blue. I just want you to know, I keep falling more and more in love with you," Ino recited the charming words scribbled on the note with a giggle, "Happy Birthday, Hime."
The two girls sitting on either side of her swooned on her behalf, the romanticism not lost on them. Ino looked at her friends, noting the cheek-eating grin plastered on Tenten's face and the whimsical look Sakura was giving her.
"He knew I was upset about him not being able to be there for my birthday because of some stuck-up Feudal Lord's daughter requesting Konoha shinobi escorts. He was considerate enough to do all of this for me the day before my special day," Ino explained with a deceitful calm. Hinata knew better. Her excitement, her appreciation was apparent through the barely concealed fervor in her voice when she spoke and the almost indiscernible quiver of her hands that laid on the table top.
Sakura snorted as she leant forwards, grabbing hold of her drink and taking a sip. "Who would have thought Kiba had a romantic side to him let alone a considerate side."
Tenten laughed at the heated glare Ino shot towards the pink-haired medic. "Kiba's the most caring and considerate person I know!" Ino defended with a stubborn huff.
Hinata only watched on as the girls before her continued their lighthearted banter, a slight smile gracing her lips. Soon enough, though, their voices and laughter were drowned out as her vision went out of focus and she let herself get lost in her endless sea of thoughts.
It had become an unintentional tradition ever since the Fourth Shinobi War had concluded; the four girls would meet up at Yakiniku-Q on a monthly basis—never on a particular day—where they were free to catch up and just relax and live for the moment. Occasionally, Temari would join them, too, if she happened to be around Konoha. As of now, it was only them, though, and as usual, the topic of conversation revolved around their love lives, none- existent or otherwise.
It was why the Hyuuga Heiress would, more often than not, feel uncomfortable. She tried to be attentive to her friends' conversation, but the subject of love brought on a myriad of emotions that eventually left her feeling morose. A forlorn sigh escaped past her lips; Hinata craned her neck towards the wall-to-wall window, staring through the civilians going about their day, contented and carefree as they strolled down the busy streets.
It hadn't been long since the war had ended in their favour and the village was still in the midst of reconstruction from the damage it was dealt with Pein's invasion. Peace was only now settling in. Families were reunited; friends reacquainted and lovers reaccustomed with one another. Also, as if the war was a rude awakening, confessions were made, relieving them of the burden of concealed desires. People got together—a lot of people. The ever-increasing number of couples tortured Hinata with their fanciful notions of happy ever after.
Scoff. As if it existed, she thinks wryly.
She turned her attention back towards her friends, noting the rudeness of drifting away with her thoughts in the midst of their company. A smile, this time genuine, unconsciously etched onto her face. It was like living in slow motion, watching them interact in front of her. Still partially stuck in her musings, Hinata did not hear a word they spoke. All she saw were lips vigorously moving from animated talking, over-exaggerated hand gestures emphasizing their conversation. Sakura stood up suddenly and engages in a ridiculous victory dance. Tenten and Ino's heads were thrown back from the force of their laughter. In between fits of giggling, they would take a bite or two of the food laid out in front of them.
The Hyuuga kunoichi's gaze drifted to the silver locket around Ino's neck that the said girl's hand unintentionally fingered in the gist of goofing around. 'Ino' was intricately carved on it in cursive letters, tiny topaz outlining the name. Right below it, the Yamanaka crest was proudly engraved alongside the Inuzuka crest. It was Kiba's birthday gift for the blonde, which he had hidden in Ino's room for her to find on her birthday before he left for the escort mission.
The locket was unlike any other, having a lock that can only be opened with a key; a key that Kiba now wears around his neck. What the inside holds is a mystery to all but the two lovers.
Hinata couldn't be any happier for her dearest childhood friends, but … when would it be her turn?It was the same unanswerable question that plagued her very being ever since the end of the war.
Tenten and her cousin Neji finally made their relationship public after gaining consent from Hiashi, not only as Neji's uncle but also as the head of the clan. They were a unique couple. There were no public displays of affections, no random exchange of gifts and certainly no verbal declarations of love. But it worked. Their sentiments were silent—private yet still very apparent. If one were observant enough, one would notice the adoration in Tenten's gaze and the crinkle at the corner of Neji's eyes as he discreetly smiled at her and only her. It was a faint sign that renders all doubts worthless.
And Sakura? Slowly, but surely she was getting closer to Sasuke, who had been reinstated as an official Konoha shinobi and citizen. Granted, Sasuke was almost always away on his travels, but he sent Sakura letters and Hinata knows the medic treasured those interactions no matter how short and precise because it meant he cared enough. Naruto had been ecstatic when Sasuke willingly came home after their final battle, but Hinata wasn't so sure it was the same emotion he felt when he realised the relationship between his two teammates were shifting into something more.
Grimacing at her dreary train of thought, Hinata averted her gaze towards her hands which now rested on her lap. It seems her fingers had unconsciously curled on the cloth of her baggy pants until her nails dug into her skin, her knuckles white and her grip vicious. And as if the pain reliever had worn out, the burn of the broken skin suddenly made itself known, but she still didn't let go.
She had confessed to him, practically exposed herself bare, and he had been neglecting her existence ever since. It felt like such a distant memory, yet at the same time, it was raw, replaying like a broken record every chance it got. It's been a little over a year, she thinks. Hinata had not expected a reply, a reciprocation of her feelings since she was well aware of her one-sided love. She wasn't oblivious to that. However, she can't say she expected the unimaginable hurt when she received no response. Rejection would have punched her in the gut, but at least, she tells herself, it would have been something. It would show that he, in the least, somehow had paid attention, had acknowledged it. And that would have been enough.
It was all she got in return and it agonized her the most. She was stupid, she admits, but she can't bring herself to regret her actions. After all, it had relieved her of a metaphorical weight she hadn't realised she was burdened with.
The Hyuuga heiress snapped back to reality and realised Sakura was waving a hand in front of her. Red dusted her cheeks out of embarrassment. She blinked and her eyes wandered from Sakura to Ino to Tenten and back again. Their faces were marred by genuine concern—concern for her.
Hinata had not realized she ended up blocking out their conversation entirely. In a nervous haste, she bit her bottom lip and looked at them guiltily, "Gomenasai, I was lost in thought."
"Are you okay?" Tenten asked.
Managing a quivering smile, she nodded with fake enthusiasm to give them assurance that none believed but still let go. She knew she needed to distract them before they could pry her with questions she did not want to answer.
She forced a cheeky grin and eyed Sakura. "So, what going on with you and Sasuke?"
And with that, the girls forgot about Hinata's uncharacteristic behavior.
It disappeared far away,
It scattered in the wind
I could not catch love so it made me sad
"This is a lengthy mission. Hinata. Not to mention dangerous," Tsunade states, her chin propped on her intertwined fingers, the skin between her eyes puckered in concern, "which is why I'm giving you time to decide and the option to decline. You have three days, so make the right decision for yourself."
"Hai, Tsunade-sama," Hinata replied.
"Alright, you're dismissed."
With a silent bow, the raven-haired girl turned on her heels and walked out of the Hokage's office, closing the door behind her. As she walked the halls of the tower aimlessly, she processed the mission that has just been given to her—or, well, could possibly be given to her. From what Tsunade has told her, it was an S-rank, solo mission; an information retrieval that would take up a year at minimum. She'd be undercover, living right alongside the target, manipulating them into believing she was somebody she's not. That in itself was a difficult task, for she'd have to be in constant disguise, keeping her guard up at all times so she doesn't let slip her real identity. One wrong move and she would be staring at death's face.
Despite the risk, it was an opportunity to expand her skill set. She was an amazing tracker, but she doesn't want to be limited to one ability. No respectable ninja ever does.
With a tired sigh, she allowed her thoughts to deviate away from the mission. Naruto's grinning face popped into her mind without reason and tears stung her eyes, but she willed them away. Then, as if to further mock her, a shinobi couple walked past her, their hands interlaced. The kunoichi's head rested on the man's shoulder while he had a protective arm wrapped around her petite waist.
Hinata reluctantly remembers the time during the war when Naruto held her hands in his. She remembered how it was large and almostalmostalmost engulfed her own; how safety was naturally the first feeling that consumed her, not awkwardness and certainly not shyness.
She would be lying if she said that small action had not given her hope.
Why do I continuously torture myself with these thoughts?
Her brooding was eradicated, quickly replaced with panic, as soon as she detected two familiar chakra patterns and their distinct laughter invaded her ears. It was Sakura. And Naruto. There was no mistaking it, not after years of acquainting herself with that deep, hearty laugh.
Out of fear, instinct, maybe curiosity—she doesn't know—she abruptly hid in the dark shadows of an unused hallway conveniently situated beside her. Hinata masked her chakra and pressed herself against the wall, hoping it was enough to conceal her presence. Just to be safe, she lied to herself.
It was in this position she saw and heard it all.
They strolled by, Sakura a little bit ahead of Naruto, and the young heiress' lungs began to constrict when she noticed that look of his again. He wasn't grinning, no. He was smiling that faint, sad smile that dulled the blue sparks of fire in his eyes. Sakura was talking about her relationship with Sasuke, but Hinata paid her no heed. Instead, the raven-haired kunoichi kept her attention solely on Naruto. She noticed his step falter, witnessed his fingers clench then loosen ruefully once more. His brows furrowed just as his downturned lips parted to inhale deeply.
"I'll always be there for you Sakura-chan if he ever breaks your hearts again." Naruto's voice was laced with nothing short of seriousness, making them both halt right in front the hallway Hinata hid in. Sakura turned to face him, confusion painting her features.
Something in her screamed for her to turn and walk away, to run so she doesn't hear more than she could handle. The discomfort drowning her in their vices compelled her toes to fidget; her teeth to gnaw her bottom lip. And Hinata clenched her fists to gain back some level of control because she refuses to walk away.
She should have, though, for with Naruto's next words she felt her heart crackcrackcrack until the fissures spiraled out of control—
"I will always love you Sakura."
—and she shattered.
She bit back a whimper, turning her head away before she could catch a glimpse of what happens next as if it would lessen the pain. She didn't want to see Sakura's emerald eyes widen. She didn't want to see her luscious lips curve into a tentative smile. She didn't want to see Sakura's shoulders being wrapped with Naruto's protective arms.
Hinata didn't need to see to know that it was exactly what happened.
She tried to ignore it, but the crippling ache in her chest was persistent. It clogged her throat, depriving her of much-needed oxygen, and it seized her every thought. When she heard footsteps, she turned once more for reasons beyond rationality. She kept her eyes trained on their figures, unwillingly giving them her utmost attention until they disappeared off a corner.
She was alone now, safe enough to entertain her misery. Her vision blurred as her back roughly slid down the wall and she landed on the floor ungracefully in a mess of tangled limbs. She pulled her legs to her chest, burying her head in it before she let the thread precariously holding her together snap and she finally let out a deep, agonising sob. Raven hair messily draped over her person, as if to curtain it from further grief, but her cries only grew louder, her breathing becoming more ragged and irregular; her body convulsed and shuddered in sync with the anguish that consumed her.
He doesn't love you.
He never has.
And he never will, Hinata.
There was nothing she could hold on to anymore.; she can no longer fool herself.
Naruto's confession may have been a mere whisper to Sakura, but to Hinata, it was a deafening scream that continued to echo in her muddled head; an echo that would never fade. Not unless…
Impelled by newfound determination, the heiress slowly stood on trembling feet. She took a moment to stabilise her balance before she stiffly rubbed away wandering tears with the heel of her palm and dusted herself clean of imaginary dirt. Now all there was left to do was to accept the mission so she could get as far away as possible from Konoha.
With neither careful thinking nor hesitation, Hinata rushed towards the Hyuuga compound to pack her belongings. This year-long mission was the perfect opportunity for her. It was exactly what she needed, and if she were lucky, it would even last longer than a year, giving her enough time to pick up the pieces and move on.
Only informing her father, Hanabi and Neji, she left early the next morning for the mission without saying any goodbyes. Not to her clan, not to her teammates or Kurenai-sensei and especially not to her friends. It was better this way. After all, she not entirely sure if she would come back alive, if at all. If Tsunade was curious about her quick departure when she was given three days to make a choice, she didn't voice it. And that relieved Hinata, because she wouldn't know how to explain.
Her cousin Neji's words reverberated in her thoughts as she jumped from branch to branch, putting more distance between him and her, leaving behind a small part of her feeling with every step forward.
"He'll be wondering where you are."
It was what Neji had said just before she left the compound. However, Hinata has no clue as to what he meant or even who he was referring to. She could guess, but she'd rather not indulge her curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat after all, and she learnt that lesson the hard way yesterday.
She was just a girl who let herself fall innocently in love with a boy who loved another.
I put down my hopes like disappearing waves
In this great death-like pain
My embrace is lonely
AN:- Hello dear Readers :D
To those who followed this from the beginning, I apologise for taking so long to update. No, I hadn't given up on the story, just that there had been a lot of life changes. Needless to say, I'll be completing this three-shot and revising the two chapters I have already uploaded. So please, enjoy the story :)
Oh! And in case you were wondering, the quotes at the beginning, middle and the end is all part of the English lyrics of a K-pop song called "Day and Night" by T-Ara, Shannon and Gunji. If you listen to k-pop, check it out. It's a song that breaks hearts and it suited Hinata's situation quite well.
As of 05-03-2016, chapter 1 of Innocently in love has been revised! Yay!