An Unexpected Confession
"How could you?!" a pink-haired teen screeched, as tears ran through her eyes. "After everything I've done?! After everything I went through to be with you?! This is how you repay me!"
"Are you done?" the laid back raven haired boy answered back. There was a sharp crack as the teen cracked his knuckles, wincing slightly at the hurt he felt in his leftmost finger. It seemed fine but the moment of embarrassment he felt would take years to recover.
Recalling the memory, he growled inwardly; Naruto will pay for what he did and he will pay in full, that was for certain. Nobody treated the Uchiha as such and expected to get away with it! However, before he could put more thought on how he was going to achieve that, a certain obstacle would need to be dealt with first, namely Sakura.
"At least have the nerve to feel sorry for what you've done!" Sakura screeched, causing the raven haired teen to grimace slightly at the shrill of her voice. "You told me you wouldn't even think of looking twice at another so long as you have the best in the palm of your hand!"
"The Uchihas NEVER regret feel for what they do," Sasuke answered her coldly. "I did what I thought was right and I acted as such. My arguments stands. As for the other thing you've just said...you're right in this regard. The Uchihas do not settle for second best."
"Wh-what...are you talking about?" the pink haired asked. Already the implications of his words had begun to sink in and they were taking a huge toll on her. "You're...you're not thinking of...d-d-dumping me are you, Sasuke-kun?"
The raven haired teen merely smirked at her reaction. "You're a smart girl, Sakura. Don't make this any harder for yourself."
"Y-y...you..." she stammered. There was nothing to be said and nothing to be done, she realized.
Over the past few months, she knew that few things were able to push the Uchiha this far and if Sasuke wasn't the definition of relentless, then there was nothing to describe it. From the way things seemed to be playing out right now, it was futile to even bother arguing with him. Three months worth of cheating on her ex-boyfriend was starting to get back at her and it wasn't about to end anytime soon, she realized.
This was Heaven's punishment for what she did to her poor ex-boyfriend who had done nothing but offer her his care and affection.
Unfortunately, he was not there to help her out this time...nor would he anymore for that matter.
"If you're done, I've got places to be and bigger fish to fry," Sasuke answered back, before turning his back at her and walking straight towards the school gates. "Or catch. Narutoe always seems to have the best 'fish'. And I'm not letting this one go."
"Was I all that ever was to you?" Sakura demanded. "A trophy? Just something to spite Naruto?"
"You don't even come close," Sasuke answered back. "Did you honestly think that I would ever take you seriously, Sakura? You jumped at the first opportunity to be with me without even bothering to take into account his feelings or actions, even after what he went through in order to be with you. Even I felt sorry for him but that's hardly the point. You were nothing more than a stepping stone; a way to measure my rival's resolve and determination. Pity that didn't go so well. Maybe stealing his dear Hina-chan would provide a better breakdown."
"You heartless bastard..." Sakura whispered, eyes wide at his sudden revelation. Never before had Sasuke ever revealed the true inner workings of his mind but now that he did, Sakura realised just how twisted her beloved prince really was.
He had used her and once she was no longer useful, he had discarded her as if she was nothing more than a mere tool.
"Is that all people are to you? Nothing more than pawns for you little mind games? Or simply means to an end?"
"Don't you DARE talk to me about morality," the raven haired thundered, suddenly turning to face her. "You have no idea how the real world works. It's use others or be used! My own brother taught me that. Besides, didn't you do the same thing to your precious Naruto-kun?"
A slight twinge of quilt and remorse swept through the pink-haired teen as she heard him say that. Once more, she re-called her fond memories with Naruto; had Sasuke ever visited her when she fell sick? No. Had the black haired teen ever volunteered to take her place in detention while she was cheating behind his back? No. Had the Uchiha ever bothered asking her friends help in order to find the perfect first month aniversary gift for her? No. Had he even gotten her a first-month aniversary gift for her? Not that she could think off...
And yet what had she done?
She had traded the blonde's sincere affections and heart-felt gifts as well as actions for being together with the school's prince. For the first time in her life, she was actually considering what Kiba had said to her; was she actually as smart as she believes herself to be?
"Don't do this Sasuke," she pleaded. "We can still work it out. I love you. I truly do, despite what you've done. Inside, I know there's just a broken soul who needs someone to care for him."
"I don't need your help," he rebuffed. "Naruto's the only person whom I've ever bothered devoting some attention to. He would make an excellent slave for the Uchiha corporation. And thanks to him, it looks like I've found the perfect person to carry on the Uchiha line."
"You're despicable," Sakura replied. Getting up, she wiped her face clean with her handkerchief before turning to face him with a full glare. "Even after all this years, you still can't overlook what Itachi-san did. You'll never know what true loyalty and friendship means if you continue walking down this road. Fine...dump me for what it's worth. I'm done with you; I'm going to find Naruto and when I do, I'm going to beg him for his forgiveness."
With that, the pink-haired teen left, leaving the raven-haired boy alone. There was a slightly amused look on the Uchiha's face as he analyzed the sudden change in his now ex-girlfriend's behavior.
Pity, he thought. I could have used a person like her. She's only the second girl to ever resist me. Bah, I have no use for someone who has no loyalty. Besides, that blue-haired girl is the focus here. Maybe father knows who she is...
As for Sakura, she had begun her long road to redemption, starting with the trip to her ex-boyfriend's house. A single thought ran through her mind as she swallowed her pride and force herself to march forward; Maybe Naruto will take me back...maybe...I can hope. No...I MUST hope...
Both teens were sitting cross-legged on Hinata's comfy little bed as the bluenette proceeded to mend all of the injuries her beloved friend and love interest had received from the beating earlier on at Konoha high.
Unknown to both of them however, a certain ten-year was spying on the couple as she hid behind her elder sister's closet, hoping to catch the blonde teen in some unfavorable light. Unfortunately for her, this seemed unlikely as Naruto had his back pressed against the wall, with his head tilted down, as he tried to avoid eye-contact with his dear Hinata.
To Hanabi's frustration and Naruto's distress, Hinata merely lifted out an arm to grasp softly on the blonde's jaw. This caused the blonde to flinched but Hinata didn't seemed to notice. Continuing on, Hinata proceeded to lift the Namikaze's head up slowly while she studied the slight bulge on his face, all the while feeling for anything unusual in his jaw line.
It was torture for both Naruto and Hanabi at this point; for the sixteen year old, it was never easy to resist Hinata's touch, which made him feel like a pervert. For Hanabi, it wasn't fair that her beloved onee-chan was showing this random guy so much affection, care and above all, love when he didn't seem to deserve it.
When Hinata's examination showed no dislocation, she sighed happily. Then, reaching down slowly to the underneath of the bed, she pulled out a medical box and began to make the preparations of cleaning up the wounds of her dear Naruto-kun.
"Ow...Ow!" squirmed the familiar blonde-haired teen as his beloved childhood friend applied some anti-septic cream onto his face, using a sanitized cotton-wool on what appeared to be a pair of medical tweezers. "That stings!"
"P-please stop mo-moving Naruto-kun," the blunette replied softly. When he continued squirming, she reached out her other arm and held his hand in hers. "Y-you can s-squeeze on m-my hand Naruto-kun if i-it helps b-but please let me f-finish c-cleaning you up."
Whatever Hinata did, it seemed to worked, as Naruto remained too stunned at her antics to even mutter a single word of complain. Once, she was finished, with his jaw, she proceeded to clean the rest of the scratches on his face that he had managed to gain when he fell down onto the floor. "Please cl-close y-your eyes Naruto-kun. I mi-might get some c-cream onto them."
He obediently did so and once she was done, Hinata finished up by tapping a piece of medical wool onto the bruise on his face.
She was very tempted to kiss the sore spot but couldn't help shake the feeling that someone was watching them and hence stopped herself from doing so. That and the fact that the blonde was blushing intensely made her feel slightly guilty to be taking advantage of him when he was in such a vulnerable state. But only slightly.
It seemed that the past few weeks had a huge impact on both of their lives; Naruto seemed to have inherited some of his neighbor's meekness whereas Hinata seemed to have inherited more of his boldness. Needless to say, this only happened when they were with each other, alone.
Naruto-kun's so cute when he's embarrassed, she thought suddenly before realizing that her left hand felt a bit painful.
"Na-naruto-kun..." the bluenette whispered. "Yo-you're squeezing my h-hand..."
"Ah! I'm so sorry, Hina-chan!" he replied before letting go.
The bluenette quickly took a forlorn look at her hand as he did so but not for the reason that Naruto was thinking; she was upset that she hadn't the courage to tell him that she wanted to continue holding his hand. As for the blonde, he was feeling a different thing altogether; his hand was rather cold, now that he had let go.
It felt...empty or rather 'incomplete' and he tried clenching and un-clenching it to shake the feeling away.
"I-it's fine Naruto-kun," Hinata replied. Steeling herself, Hinata braced for what she was about to say next. Naruto was not going to like this. "T-take of y-your shirt Naruto-kun, O-onegai."
For a moment, both Hanabi and Naruto were too stunned by her statement to do anything. Then, Hanabi saw the determined look on her sister's face and understanding immediately flashed through her mind.
Trying her best to stop herself from rolling on the closet's floor or laughing her head off, she watched on gleefully now. There was never saying no when her sister was in this state. She herself knew from personal experience when she fell on her bottom a few years back. No matter how many times, Hanabi pleaded, cried, screamed or even begged, Hinata was adamant in her request of fixing up her little sister. It had been a very unpleasant memory and one where she had never wanted to return to. Ever.
But seeing her onee-chan doing it to someone else? This was pure gold; comedy at its finest to be exact and she wouldn't miss a second of it. Better yet, she was doing it for the person Hanabi liked the least in the world now...
"W-wh-what?!" the blonde nearly shrieked.
The bluenette's response to this was to reach out an arm and place it softly onto his chest. When there was no reaction from him, she pressed slightly and received a soft hiss of pain from the blonde. Realizing what she was planning to do, he tried backing away from her but realized he couldn't; his back was pressed against the wall and his Hina-chan had her other arm position a few feet in between them as she had leaned in to check on the wounds on his chest.
The only means of escape would be to brush said hand away but that would be disastrous; doing so would cause her to stumble on top of him seeing as her other arm was still on his chest and he wasn't too eager to face Hiashi's manhood stealer anytime soon, that was for certain.
"Yo-you don't need to g-go that far, Hina-chan," Naruto stammered. "Its fine already!"
His argument would have held more sway had the bluenette not pressed harder onto his chest, earning yet another howl from the blonde. As Hinata's calm facial expression turned into a slight frown, Naruto suddenly realized that there would be no argument from her.
He had seen that gleam in her eyes before in the past. Long ago when they were kids messing about the Hyuuga residence, he had fell down and cut his knee protecting Hinata as a car swerved around an unseen corner towards them. Luckily, both kids were mostly unharmed but it was an extremely embarrassing memory for the young Namikaze as Hinata had rushed into her home immediately after, carrying what seemed to be pills, medical herbs and an assortment of other medical mysteries that the blonde had never even seen before, back to him. And because neither him nor his dear friend had any knowledge of first aid, they had proceeded to try every single item that was available to them.
Regardless of their intention, Naruto became hospitalized for little more than a week following that particular incident. Perhaps it was that very incident that lighted a fire between the two of them as Naruto's parents were very upset at what happened to their soichi but when Hinata tried to confess what she had done, the blonde had counter her argument back saying that he had forced the bluenette into fixing him up.
You might think the Namikazes and Hyuugas would have let this slide for the sake of their young children but you couldn't be more wrong. Both children ended up grounded for more than three months after that incident; Hiashi was extremely ticked off as he had warned Hinata to never ever touched the forbidden medical cabinet whereas Minato was very displeased that his young son had met his first near death experience at such a young age.
Unknown to both men, their wives had secretly brought their children over to the other's house in order to share their grounding together. So while both children did indeed get punished for their innocent actions, they merely shrugged it off as it wasn't much of a grounding in the presence of the other. Besides, both mothers had nothing to do in the afternoon and the wailing of their toddlers eventually caved them in when their cries and screams of rage and misery reached the other's house...
All this flashed by Naruto's mind, until his beloved counterpart made her first move, bringing him back once more to reality.
As Hinata began unbuttoning his school shirt, Naruto immediately reached out an arm to stop her. For a moment, there was tension in the air as both teens glared dangerously at the other.
Eventually though, Hinata relented and looked away as her face turned a deep shade of red. A wave of rejection washed through the bluenette and Naruto soon realized just what he had done.
Sighing softly, he released his grip on her hand before looking away himself, his face a darker shade of red than his counterpart. Hinata's eyes widened at the blonde's antics. Arm shaking this time round, she slowly but surely unbuttoned his front shirt all the way down before, picking up the pair of medical tweezers once more. When the blonde flinched at the contact of the wool on his skin, Hinata replaced her hand in his.
"T-t-trust me N-naruto-k-kun," Hinata whispered.
Naruto merely nodded at that as the bluenette continued to finish cleaning his wounds before applying yet another medical bandage to the huge gash on his chest. The seconds ticked by slowly as Hinata worked away; it was excruciatingly painful for our two teens but more so for little Hanabi.
The young ten year old no longer had that amused look on her face anymore as she saw the way her sister worked on their blonde neighbor. Unlike the way her older sister had mended her wounds with an almost fierce-like resolve back then, whatever she was doing now towards Naruto, she was doing it with an embarrassed acceptance, as well as with a shy disposition.
It certainly didn't help matters that both teens were gazing each other with an almost spell-like gaze. Her sister had never looked at her that way before and she felt rather jealous that Naruto was able to trigger these emotions when she couldn't. Her scowl only deepened further when she saw the way they held each others hands. Just what was it that made Naruto so different from the rest of them? she wondered.
Once more, Hanabi's mind flashed back to what her cousin had told her five nights ago...
"Neji-san, can I...can I talk to you?" Hanabi asked hesitatingly. The brunette gave a surprised look before putting down his calligraphy brush.
"Hai, do you need something from me, Hanabi-sama?" Neji answered. Hanabi waved her hand dismissively at the formal tone.
"No need for formalities, Neji-san," she answered back. "We're cousins afterall."
When he didn't reply this time, she pressed forward. "If you don't mind telling me...just who is Naruto-kun?"
I knew this was coming, Neji thought.
Sighingy inwardly, he tapped his forehead unconsciously, best thinking how to answer this question. It was not the first time he was asked this question before and he doubted that this would ever be the last time. Many before her had inquired the identity of the current and remaining heir to the famous Namikaze line.
Unfortunately, Neji knew little of what went on with the blonde's life but what he did know was always feasted upon by his receivers. Hiashi had been among those who wanted to keep tabs on Naruto but while others had plans on trying to secure the massive land holdings and properties of the Namikaze, Hiashi had been one who wanted to determine his potential as a possible partner for his heir. Of course there were others that learnt of the blonde's talent and were already scheming to manipulate him for their own uses.
While Naruto never did possess true academic genius but rather relied on his own effort and willpower to achieve success, he did possess one unique ability; the talent to inspire hope and determination in others. If ever there was anyone Neji would ever want to work with, Naruto would have been his first choice.
Already, the brunette was planning for a method to secure Naruto's loyalty and future to the Hyuuga corporation. However, instead of securing his ties to the board of directors, Neji was trying to secure them towards him. This did not mean that he was hungry for power within the corporation itself but rather, he wanted to make sure that his good friend would not be used by the other more 'ambitious' members of the company.
Neji himself knew the true extent of Naruto's talents but had always kept the majority of them to himself...and Hinata.
Firstly, the blonde was rather naive about the way the business world works seeing as he always strove to find the good in everyone. This made him an easy target for subtle manipulation. Luckily for him, his senior was always on the lookout against a certain raven-haired teen.
As for why Neji included Hinata; she had been the only one who had made secret trips back towards Konoha every summer to check up on how he was doing. While it broke the bluenette's heart to watch the young blonde from afar, she had stayed true to her father's deal of not meeting him until he deemed her ready and so she bid her time patiently waiting for the right moment.
If it was any consolation, these meetings only seemed to deepen and nurture the already growing feelings she held for the blonde, especially since he was always helping out the poor and unfortunate. People grew to lose most of their kind nature as they grew up but Naruto seemed to have kept his and this was one of the many reasons why Hinata fell even more deeply in love with him. Although his good looks did contribute slightly there as well.
Secondly, Neji could see that despite all the suffering and pains Naruto had faced in Konoha high, be it from teachers or students, he had fought on with an almost unbelievable passion and drive, without so much as a frown. Qualities like these were rare and coveted by organisations world wide, so he tried his hardest to keep Naruto from the scrutiny of potential rival companies.
Finally, if companies knew of his ties and abilities, they would hasten to make arrangements such as marriage proposals as well as business deals with the Namikazes and if there was anything Neji hated, it was a loveless marriage. While he had question Hiashi's resolve for one when his uncle informed him as such, he paid little to no attention.
Back in the days of old, Neji too was a childhood friend for both Naruto and Hinata. However, unlike the two, he had preferred to be alone practicing his calligraphy and reading his books while his two juniors messed about in the gardens.
Despite this however, they would manage to persuade him, from time to time, to join in their little antics of mischief and he realized that both of them were connected on a far deeper level than he would ever be with his younger cousin despite their blood ties. The fact that Hinata had actually gone out of her way to actually visit the blonde every summer without him knowing was a respectable action in Neji's eyes since he was one of the few that his uncle confided about the incident ten years ago.
Besides, the brunette had actually proceeded to grow up with the blonde and he knew how much Naruto's betrayal had hurt him. In fact, Neji would have stop Naruto's confession to Sakura, had he known his younger cousin would be staying with them this time round but because he hadn't, he resisted from doing so.
His reasoning for this was simple; Naruto had suffered much heartache and if he was finally able to move on with a broken heart and find love again, then who was he to interfere in the affairs of others? Doing so would place him in a position no higher than the very people Neji sought to protect him from...
So with these thoughts in mind, Neji tried avoiding the question, "He is a great man and one I think very highly of, Hanabi. But tell me, why ask this now?"
"I don't like the way Onee-chan looks at him," she spat back. "He must be a master manipulator to be able to control Onee-chan to this extant!"
"Tell me, Hanabi," Neji explained patiently. "Do you trust Hinata-sama's intellect?"
"Hai," Hanabi answered back. "Remember all those chess, Shogi and stupid games Tou-san forced Onee-chan to play against the company's officers?"
"Yes..." Neji answered with a hint of emotion.
That was a dreadful day for the brunette; it marked his very first taste of defeat ever. Though, it was even worse for the higher ranked officials as the bluenette managed to beat them soundly one after another without so much as a blink. How a teenage Hinata had managed to defeat all those veteran company officials remained a mystery to Neji, although he did suspect foul play from the officers themselves but had no evidence to prove it.
"Good. Now, tell me...do you think someone of your sister's caliber would be able to fall prey to a simple mind game?"
"Well no...but," Hanabi hesitated. When Neji gestured for her to continued, she answered "But Onee-chan...loves him. I've never seen her so happy before every since we came back. Nor have I ever seen the way she gets whenever something bad happens to him."
"You hate the fact that Hinata-sama loves Naruto-kun?"
"Yes," Hanabi stated. Ignoring the glare she was receiving, she pressed on, "Because loves makes you do stupid things and she's too stupid to realize she's being manipulated."
"You shouldn't be saying such things, Hanabi-sama," Neji sighed in return. "What do you know about love? You're only ten!"
"I don't care! I don't trust this Naruto. Not only did he have the guts to toy around with Onee-chan's feelings but he even denied admitting them!"
"You're right in that regard but let me tell you one thing," Neji started. "Your sister has never been this happy since ten years ago when she left him. Not a single day has passed without her waiting for this very moment. Are you going to take all that away because you doubt her judgement?"
"If it will saved her later on...then yes, I welcome the inevitable."
"Then trust me, when I tell you to believe in Naruto-kun," Neji said. "He does love your sister. If anything...he will sacrifice his own life for her."
"How do you know?"
"Because he's done it before," Neji answered before picking up his brush and effectively ending the conversation.
Back in the present,
"The-there a-all d-d-done, Naruto-kun," Hinata murmured, as she packed away the medical supplies before, turning away from him to pack away the box under her bed. Just as she had done doing so, she felt strong arms encircled her from behind, causing a squeak to escape from her mouth.
"Thank you, Hina-chan," Naruto whispered into her right ear, all the while cuddling her in her arms. When she continued squirming, he tightened his hug and before nuzzling her hair from behind with his face.
The whole time Hanabi was watching this, she was fuming with rage at what the blonde was doing to her sister. She would have jumped out from that closet right there and then had it not been for the blissful look on her sister's face; it would seemed like a crime to separate them now. Besides, her sister still hadn't quite forgiven her for what she had done the last time Naruto was over at their place.
"St-stop teasing m-me, Naruto-kun..." Hinata muttered, worried that she might faint once more. The blonde merely smirked as he blew softly at the blunenette's neck, earning yet another squeak of protest from his dear friend, as well as a greater amount of squirming.
Why doesn't Onee-chan do something?! Hanabi thought as she saw the scene played out before her. Surely her sister must had some sort of surprise technique after all those years of Judo lessons?
However another look at both of their faces and she realized that they were playing with one another. What was worse for Hanabi was that she realized that though her onee-chan was squirming at Naruto's actions, she didn't seem to mind them. In fact, she actually seemed to be enjoying herself. It shocked her greatly that the young mistress of the Great Hyuuga clan that she has known her older sister to be would be able to interact with people in this sort of way. Then again, nothing was ever simple whenever the blonde was around or so she thought.
For a while, the squirming, giggling and teasing continued between the two of them, until tired and out of breath, they both stopped. Having had his fun, as well as being aware of the fact that he still hadn't button up his front shirt, Naruto slowly released his hold on Hinata before quickly buttoning up his exposed chest, his face still that deep shade of scarlet.
"Naruto-kun..." Hinata suddenly whispered, as she turned around slowly to face him, her eyes shinning with a dazzling light. Slowly, she reached out and grabbed both his hands in hers as she edged ever so close towards him. The distance between them closed until their faces were only a few centimeters away from one another.
"Y-yes, Hina-chan?" he choked, seeing the new look in her eyes. Once more, his chest hurt but not because of the scuffle that he had that afternoon; it was hurting because of the girl in front of him. And once again, he was force to confront those feelings that he had bottled up for so long as he gazed deeply into those pale lavender eyes of her.
I love her...Naruto thought. His heart lurched as he came to that conclusion. I've never felt so much for any one person ever. Not even for Sakura. If loving her is wrong, then God forgive me but I love her.
As he embraced that simple fact, the restraints that he had placed upon himself shattered; no longer was he bound by his doubt and guilt on whether he was using Hinata to fill in that measly hole left by his ex-girlfriend because he wasn't. At the same time, it dawned on him that whatever he had felt for Sakura was not love, she had never done anything to deserve him but Hinata had earned his approval and so much more; she was always there for him when he needed her to be while Sakura was only there whenever she wanted to be.
Hinata had been his light when he had no one to turned to during the darkest moment of his life whereas Sakura had caused the events leading to the darkest moments in his life. Hinata had done all she could do for him without even asking for a single thing in return, even when she knew there was a chance he wouldn't reciprocate her feelings whereas the pink-haired teen had left him the moment Sasuke's attention was focused on her. His beloved Hina-chan had even waited patiently and diligently every single day at him home just to be with him!
"Naruto-kun...I..." Hinata began. "I've b-been m-m-meaning to tell y-yo-you this b-b-but y-yo-you p-probably kn-know it already. Naruto-kun...I-I l-love you."
When he just stared at her, Hinata bit back a small cry but before she could escape from the room, Naruto held her face firmly in his hands as he leaned even close towards her face. Realizing what he was about to do, she closed her eyes for that brif moment of contact but instead they both heard a crash from across the room.
Whatever spell there was that was between them was broken as they turned to find a very guilty looking and embarrassed Hanabi lying on the floor next to the closet. Realizing that they were being spied, Hinata immediately rushed out of the room, too embarrassed to continue facing Naruto. The Namikaze, on the other hand, merely sighed out in exasperation as he saw his dear bluenette run out.
Hina-chan certainly is weird, he thought ruefully. First she's brave, then the next second she's shy again and the next one after that she's embarrassed. It's definitely never boring to be around her, that's for certain...
"I'm sorry Naruto-kun," Hanabi suddenly said, pulling him away from his reprieve. "But I'm not giving you to Onee-chan!"
"I knew you say that," Naruto sighed. "Regardless of what you think, Hanabi...I really do love your sister."
"Words mean nothing to me," she hissed back. "They are many others that would suit Onee-chan better than you!"
"I won't lose to them, then," he answered back. "I'll say it again, I love your sister and I'll fight anyone or anything for her affections...even if it is you."
What an amazing aura, the ten year old thought. Already she could feel his resolve radiating out from him. The only person who had ever shown such strength was her sister but she wasn't going to tell him that.
Going for the psychological route, she replied "And what if, Onee-chan finds someone better? Hmm? What then? What if she doesn't want you?"
Instead of the usual outburst from the numerous counts of suitors that Hanabi had driven off over the years, the Namikaze merely closed his eyes as he answered her back in a firm tone of voice, "I know...I'm not good enough for the heir of the Hyuuga coorporation and I...never will be. Regardless of what Hina-chan decides, I will always support her decision and if I can't stand as her partner, then I will stand as her friend."
"Even if it kills you?" she taunted back.
"Yes...even then..." There was a certain ring of misery in his voice when he said that. As well as all the anguish and hurt that was carried behind it.
What was most surprisingly to Hanabi however was the faint but unmistakable sense of honesty that she detected from his answer. She didn't like to admit it but she was beginning to understand why her sister had chosen such a man.
True, Naruto might not have all the qualities her previous suitors had such as class, connections or political power. In fact, she even doubted if he even knew how to treat a lady properly or not but she had definitely seen the same thing that her family saw in him; loyalty, courage, resolution and above all, love.
He would go to extreme length for someone he loved and this time Hanabi was jealous not because of Naruto but rather jealous that her sister had actually found someone who actually loves her from the bottom of her heart. That said however, this was nothing more than a gut feeling and she had yet to determine whether the things he said and the things he did would be the same or not. Only time will tell.
No wonder Onee-chan fell for him, Hanabi thought warily. But if this is an elaborate set-up Naruto-kun, there will be Hell to pay, I promise you.
While Naruto and Hanabi had discussed their views on each other, Hinata had rushed downstairs before curling up into a tight ball on a couch, as she replayed what she had just said to Naruto. In retrospect, it was still a bit too early, she realized but the damage was done and if anything, she was rather irritated that Hanabi had managed to stop their first ki-
Naruto-kun was about to kiss me! she realized, turning her face even redder. Before any more of these thoughts could resurface, she heard her mother calling out to her from across the kitchen.
"Hinata, could you take this box of gifts to Kushina-san next door?" her mother asked.
"H-hai, Kaa-san." Having said so, she proceeded to take said parcel, before walking over to the Namikaze residence. Perhaps a quiet walk would help soothe her nerves somewhat. Although, she did feel bad leaving Naruto alone with Hanabi.
For a moment she was torn at whether to confront her sister about her little snooping but on the other hand, her mind and heart were still buzzing from what she had just been through.
Truth be told, she was not in the right mindset to face the blonde presently. So with a heavy heart, she decided to deliver the package first then confront the pair later on. If anything, a few minutes wouldn't change anything.
Unfortunately, she was very wrong in that aspect, as she soon heard a very angry tone coming from the Namikaze residence.
"Hello, can...what are YOU doing here?" a middle age woman asked. Hinata nearly gasped at the voice. It was Kushina but she sounded angry. Very angry, in fact.
"Kushina-san...I-I'm sorry to bother you but...is Naruto-kun here?" a meek reply answered back. From the way the voice was quivering, the owner was very afraid but that was not surprising seeing as Kushina was very scary when she was angry.
"No, he's not," Kushina answered back slowly. "And why, pray tell, would you be looking for him, Sakura-chan?"
Hinata's eyes widened at that. Sakura was here?! But...why?
"I...came to apologize for what I did, Kushina-san..." Sakura answered back.
Very few people were able to push Sakura around and those that did were not ones who you should be messing with. Even Hinata was at awed at just how much power Kushina seemed to be resonating with from the conversation she was having with the pink-haired girl.
"My son does not need your pity," Kushina growled. "Or did you come back to grovel at his feet for what you've done?"
Both teens flinched at the tone in her voice. It was no secret why everyone in town called her the hot-blooded Habanero. Even Hiashi was afraid of Kushina whenever she got this worked up.
Hiashi had once told Hinata how Kushina had managed to scare away even the most persistent of suitors just by glares alone. What made her well known and respected around Konoha however were her fierce temper and blunt remarks about everything. This was what made everyone eye her with caution, she came from a well-established line herself; the Uzumakis were of noble blood but Kushina acted like a simple country girl.
"I-I won't deny that what I've done...is wrong, Kushina-san," Sakura tried once more. "But let me make it up to Naruto-kun. Please...it's the least I can do."
"You want to make it up to Soichi? Then leave. Now." the middle aged woman replied. "Do you have any idea how much hurt, pain and misery you've put my son through?! I've seen that look on your face before, Sakura-chan...you've just got dumped haven't you? And now, you've come crawling all the way back here. Tell me, is it really guilt that you're feeling or have you just realized how much Naruto means to you right now, hmm?"
Aunty...that was a bit overkill, even for Sakura, Hinata thought warily. The bluenette was very fond of Kushina, that much was certain but then again, she had never treated Naruto with nothing more than the utmost respect and fondness. Still, she knew that Kushina was extremely protective of her son and she made a mental note to herself to never ever anger her future mother-in-law.
"Both," the pink-haired answered back. "I've...never considered seeing things from his point of view before and I'm ashamed for what I've done. Maybe...if Naruto-kun wants-"
"I FORBID IT," Kushina thundered back, causing both girls to flinched at the sound of her voice. "You think that you can just come back and get back together with my son just because you've had your little heart broken?! Well, I've got one word for girls like you. LEAVE."
"Please...Kushina-san," Sakura sobbed. "I'll...I'll make it up to Naruto-kun. I promise! You've got to believe me!"
"So he's Naruto-kun, now is he?" Kushina answered dangerously. "Your promises mean nothing to me. And they'll mean nothing to Naruto as well. I've never even seen you come by our house before and...now you show up? It's too late Sakura...Soichi loves another now."
Hinata's heart skipped a beat at that. Could it be true?!
"As well he should," Sakura muttered back miserably. "But I'll win back his affections, I'll be the Sakura-chan he always wanted me to be. Just...give me a chance"
"You've missed your chance Sakura...isn't that right, Hina-chan?"
At that, Hinata jumped. Slowly, she poked her head around the corner, to find the older woman smiling at her while the younger one had a look of utter and complete disgust as the pink haired teen beheld the beauty in front of her.
"A-ano...I'm sorry, au-aunty," Hinata apologized, bowing her head slightly. "I-I d-din't mean t-to eavesdropped o-on your conversation."
"It's fine, really Hina-chan. It wasn't anything important anyway. Let me get you a cup of tea," Kushina replied. Then turning to the pink-haired girl, she continued, "And you, get out of my sight."
Not wishing to aggravate the situation any further, Hinata proceeded to step into the house but was caught by the arm by the pink haired teen, which in turn, caused Kushina glared slightly at the way Sakura held onto Hinata's arm. This wasn't looking good for the bluenette. If she didn't do something fast, Naruto could come back to find himself caught in a catfight between three women.
"Ye-yes...can I h-help you Sa-sakura-san?" Hinata asked carefully, as she handed the box of gifts towards Kushina. Wordlessly, the red-haired woman took them, but all the while her eyes were trained on the pink-haired teen.
"Can I talk to you for a moment...Hina-san?" Sakura asked back.
A nasty scowl now crossed the middle age woman's face but just when Kushina was about to argue back, Hinata turned to give her a pleading look before shaking her head ever so slightly. Taking the hint, she held her tongue.
Normally Kushina wouldn't let Sakura or anyone for that matter, bully someone as soft and gentle as Hinata but Hiashi had informed her that Hinata was not someone you should try pushing around. Just this once, she was going to take Hiashi word on it. However, that didn't mean she wasn't going to let Hinata alone with her son's cheating ex-girlfriend; afterall, they were many ways to pry onto someone's conversation. You just have to know the right place as well as the right time to do it.
"Call me if anything ever happens, Hina-chan," Kushina said, before placing a kiss on the bluenette's forehead and petting her on the head. "Soichi would never forgive me if anything ever happens to you, Hina-chan..."
"I k-know aunty."
"And you," Kushina addressed Sakura. "You've over-stayed your time here. I expect you to leave the moment your conversation is over, got it?"
"Yes..." With that, Kushina turned around, before proceeding towards the kitchen, leaving the two of them alone, or so they thought.
"S-so...wh-what is it y-you want to t-talk about S-sakura-san?" Hinata asked.