Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto in any way shape or form; Kishimoto does. If I did, these two would've interacted by now.

A/N: Written for the prompt 'give' over at the 15_minute_fic LJ comm but I definitely went over the 15 minute time limit for the drabble (yeah, oops). Writing practice since I haven't posted anything for almost a year.

Warning: Spoilers for at least chapter 614, but also possibly as far as 631.

the flowers whispered

by Irradiance

In the cemetery, Sasuke ran a coarse hand over his brother's stony grave. Each letter in his name was carved in with precision, the edges chiseled and smoothed out until the texture was grainless. He thought nothing of the Hyuuga girl, whom he had never spoken a word to, down the row from him tending to her cousin's grave. Even Sasuke had gotten wind of the news that the talented Neji Hyuuga had died during the most recent shinobi war.

She had flowers and steamed meat buns to offer him, presents to the dead. Rest well in the after life, the young Uchiha would think, if he believed in that sort of thing. He, though, had nothing to give his brother. Food seemed pointless when he could just eat it himself, and he would sooner die than walk into the flower shop run by his blonde ex-classmate.

It was all cheap compared to what he wished he could do for his family, his clan, his village. How easily the souls of the departed can produce intense longing, their smiles nothing but memories.

He heard the sound of footsteps brushing over the grass, like shuffling leaves, and he stirred and tensed, wary of the ANBU shinobi tailing him, but it was only her, midnight-blue hair and a long hooded sweater, a handful of jonquils wedged in her arms.

"Please take them," she said without warning, holding the flowers out now. Not a word of greeting or deafening shriek of his name. He eyed her strangely.

"No," Sasuke replied. Her action was overbearing and intruding, though her modest tone stopped him from being outright offended. "He doesn't need flowers, and especially not leftover ones given out of pity."

The Hyuuga girl, his classmate, as he remembered her, was taken aback by his instantaneous and terse reply but composed herself the next moment.

She frowned. "They're not leftovers—and calling it 'pity' is rather harsh."

He was suspicious of this girl and wary of her movements. Acceptance was never so easily accomplished upon his return to the village, not only for him, but for his brother as well. But that was fine, because the villagers didn't talk to him. He had no need for conversation; the only people that bothered to associate themselves with him were his old team (and sadly, the hordes of lovesick girls who waved at him) but more often than not, he wanted nothing more than to sit atop the tree branches in silent tranquility. It was suffocating walking around the village, disapproving looks all around him that judged both him and his brother, weighted stares he could do nothing about.

"You don't have to talk to me ever again, but," she plucked the golden-hued flowers from her arms and extended them towards him in offering, her eyes glinting with hope, "they're for you, Sasuke..."

"I don't appreciate being hit on," the Uchiha boy interrupted. She knew his name, but he had forgotten hers, or perhaps never remembered it. His eyes wanted nothing more than to bleed red Sharingan to make her leave but seeing the ANBU officers watching his every move, he knew it was the wrong move. Applied hostility would get him a demerit and his record was already far from clean, but he cursed at the dread of any more botches on it for he knew it wouldn't bode well for him.

"P-Please don't misunderstand," the nameless girl blurted, the dark blue curtain lifting from her eyes which were white and wide with shock, powdered by the faint blush of her cheeks, but she was not embarrassed; she was offended. "I don't know you well enough to hate you, let alone like you—"

"Then why bother with this?"

"Because there's only meaning in it if I give them to you," she said, eyes downcast and out of his sight with a voice of quiet mourning, unexplained emotion hidden beneath it.

He surrendered when she shoved the flowers in his arms, a bloom of glowing sunshine. Rude, he thought (though he was hardly qualified to speak of the etiquette of others), as her silent gesture pulled him closer towards her, trying to ascertain her intentions, but she turned for the clearing, leaving him in his solitude.

She had no obligation to speak to him or to do anything for him and yet she did both things, even saying that he didn't have to speak to her ever again; this all made very little sense to him. Was it kindness? He wouldn't know; his human compassion probably died when he left the village, or at least withered away until it was a dim and shriveled light in the darkness of his heart. Her eyes were white, the telling signs of the Hyuuga clan, eyes famed with the ability to see everything, but they were far from judgmental.

She didn't hate him, nor did she like him.

"Wait," he called out, not expecting her to stop walking, but she did, and she spun around fully, to his surprise. Sasuke wasn't completely sure why he did this — perhaps it was the shared understanding of the death of family that assuaged his callous loneliness, or the fact that she was content with walking out of his life after barely stepping into it. "Tell me your name."

She smiled with quiet radiance, like the jonquils she had given him.

"I'm Hinata. Hinata Hyuuga."

A/N: The jonquil flower has many meanings that range from friendship to desire, but the meaning Hinata conveys here is sympathy.