A Promise is Made
Uzumaki Naruto had no idea that after their little break they would start off rough. It was actually a little more than annoying. The very next day Naruto had told his doctor about what happened with Ayame. Then they got to work, starting off with the coordinates she gave them.
As Naruto waited impatiently he paced around Hinata's office nonstop. He was a bit irritated, clearly. They had been working on finding the location of this Kakashi for a while now. In fact two hours to be more precise. And each second he waited for the stupid coordinates to be encrypted annoyed him even further. With the sound of Hinata's typing, the clicking of the mouse and the ticking of the clock. Why he just couldn't stand it! All he had to do was wait, while she did all the work.
Maybe that's what annoyed him more than anything else. The fact that Hinata did everything, while he sat back and waited. It just got to him more than ever at times like this. Especially when she was the one always bringing him up when he was down. She just did all the work and he couldn't stand it! He wanted to do something more than ever now. Not only for her, but for himself. He felt...Helpless. And he hated that feeling.
Suddenly the noise of Hinata typing stopped which made Naruto turn to her. Had she finally found something? His question was answered in one word. "Nothing." Hinata said, her voice mixed with disappointment and exhaustion.
Naruto groaned aggravated. All this time spent on nothing. Completely nothing. Hinata smiled a little, maybe to cheer him up a little. "Naruto-kun, these coordinates aren't like normal coordinates...It looks more like a code." She said slowly as she looked over the slip of paper that held the information.
It was true, it in fact did look more like a code than coordinates. It was filled with numbers, letters, and other characters you'd find on a keyboard. It made no sense no matter how they tried to figure it out.
So sadly Naruto had to agree, but he didn't have to give up. Nope, never ,notta, that wasn't an option."Maybe, you're typing it in wrong..." The blonde replied, knowing full well he was wrong.
Hinata frowned slightly at his reply. Seriously? "Naruto, I have been sitting at this computer for two hours. I didn't type it in wrong."
"Sorry." He sighed heavily.
Hinata softened her gaze."...It's okay we'll figure something out." She grabbed his hand once again comforting him. Naruto smiled lightly at her and squeezed her hand. He was glad to have her by his side. Even if he was just holding her soft, small, warm hand. She was always comforting.
Though Naruto couldn't help but feel something was off whenever they did stuff like this. Either it was hugging, or just holding hands. It was weird. Not a bad weird! A nice weird, but just not normal. He couldn't explain it. It was just that whenever they did that, it didn't seem like something friends would do. More like a couple. But he could never could think of Hinata that way! Seriously, that would be weird to want to date your very special friend, right?
It wasn't just weird,but it'd be awkward, right? Oh Kami, he didn't know anymore. With that weird thought going through his mind he unconsciously let go of her hand. The midnight haired woman didn't seem to mind, she simply preoccupied that hand with holding a glass of water.
Naruto rubbed his eyes. Well, what now? What were they to do? They obviously couldn't go back to his old apartment. They wouldn't be allowed back into the penthouse. They couldn't go back to Ichiraku and question Ayame. Getting her in trouble would be terrible, he wanted her to be alive. So when he remembered they could have a decent conversation.
So...What were they to do. Naruto pursed his lips and looked at Hinata. She was simply drinking her her glass of water. Again, Naruto thought about how she worked so hard and how much she meant to him. He couldn't never thank her enough.
"Mhm?" She couldn't actually speak considering her mouth was full. So she just nodded at him as she set down her cup.
Naruto grinned brightly at her and said triumphantly,"I love you!"
Hinata's reaction was not what he was expecting. First water squirted out of her nose and she spilled her water over her desk. Now the first thing Naruto thought was, That isn't so attractive or a nice response.
She didn't even have time to think of how to reply. The woman stood up wiping her nose with her sleeve and looking at her desk in panic."Ahh! Naruto, quick! Go get some old newspaper out of the closet!" She demanded before desperately trying to save her keyboard and mouse.
Naruto quickly turned to find the old newspaper in her closet. He looked through the closet in a hurry. He moved a box on the shelf and a photo fell. He picked up the frame and looked at it. It was a photo of a twelve year old Hinata in a figure skating dress while on the ice.
Aww, she looked so cute. Naruto grinned at the photo before calling back to her,"Hinata, you never told me you were a figure skater!" He chuckled a little.
"N-naruto focus!" She yelled back sounding busy. Naruto frowned and nodded, right,right,right. The newspaper. Ah, there it was! Naruto pulled the newspaper down and brought it to Hinata. Without hesitation she snatched half of the stack and used it to soak up the water.
He sighed relieved that no real damage was done. And all of this just because he told her how he felt. He was insulted and maybe even a little hurt. Did she not like him all that much. Or maybe she got it the wrong way. He should clear that up then if she did. He didn't want to take any chances.
He cleared his throat,"When I said I loved you I meant I loved you as a friend." He said timidly. He honest didn't know why he felt so awkward about it. And when he listened to Hinata laugh, he felt a little more awkward.
"Y-yeah! I knew that." She responded making a hand gesture as if it was obvious.
"Because it'd be weird if I actually did love you like that." He added on. Why? He didn't know, his mouth wouldn't stay shut.
"It would?" Hinata mumbled to herself. She didn't know, but he heard. Which made him raise an eyebrow. So Hinata chuckled nervously again."I mean of course it would! Me and you and your whiskered face! Silly!"
Naruto puckered his lips and narrowed his eyes,"What's wrong with my whiskers?" He asked with a deep voice. He was obviously putting on a comical act.
So Hinata laughed."Nothing." She walked toward him and stroked his cheek,"They're perfect. Just like you."
Her soft words made him blush. Ugh! She could make him blush more than ever now. Even the simplest things she said just made him gush and blush. And make him feel embarrassed, but no matter how much she could make him feel that way, he could make her feel it too. Just more often then she did him.
"Don't forget yourself." He told her through a small whisper. And there it was, her feverish face. He was content now. The color left his cheeks as he smiled at her. At this moment he really wanted to say it again. I love you. Those words just expressed how he felt. Of course he meant it as a friend.
Suddenly Naruto came to a realization. Their faces was only centimeters apart. He remembered when they were back at the penthouse. How he kissed her. Well, he didn't technically kiss her. He was like a centimeter or two away from her lips. Sooo,yeah.
Then the impact of that moment hit him. Back then he was really to angry and depressed to care or understand what he did. But now he fully understood what he had done. It had felt...good? Good, yes. If Good included; excitement, fear,elation, and eagerness.
His eyes looked from left to right before they locked on Hinata's lavender eyes."Soooo..." He said slowly."We're pretty close. And quiet. Are we gonna kiss again or something?"
Hinata's face changed colors, she was flushed. And she didn't hesitate to pull back in her embarrassed state. Naruto laughed a little, it never got old. To make her act like that, to make her blush. It just sent flutters up his stomach to his chest. It made him feel...nice.
His eyes lowered to his hands which were still holding the stack of newspaper. Naruto didn't really care to actually read the news nor watch it honestly, but in his state he would watch and read it. He needed to catch up with the world. Though he wouldn't read this, it was old newspaper. So he just scanned his eyes over it out of curiosity, and he was about to set it down when his eyes caught a familiar face. It wasn't someone in his past, it was someone he met when he woke up.
"That's my nurse!" He exclaimed with a mix of shock and excitement. Oh, the feeling of knowing and remembering it was such a sweet,sweet,sweet thing. You never really appreciate it until you lose it.
Hinata looked at him confused, her face wasn't as red anymore."What do you mean?" She asked, coming over to look.
"She was the first person I talked to when I woke up. The nurse that I actually liked." He told her, showing Hinata the article.
Hinata looked at the article and the picture above it. The confusion soon left her face without a trace, it was if everything was clear. She had that knowing look."That's my patient..." She said softly with her expression twisting into a solemn one.
"What do you mean?" Naruto frowned now the confused one. What was she talking about?
Hinata sighed heavily,"She was once my patient," She continued,"The woman was going through a saddening departure."
Naruto nodded, now starting to understand."But what is she doing in the newspaper?" He asked Hinata expecting an answer. She obviously knew.
"Why don't you read and find out?"
Naruto smiled sheepishly, she was right. He began reading the article with a frown. It was saying something about her boyfriend going missing and blah blah blah. Naruto sighed and flipped the page. His eyes stopped on the next picture and what it revealed. The article meant much more to him now.
There he was, that man. His dark hair, eyes and handsome face. It was all there, and thanks to the the article he know knew his name. It was Uchiha Sasuke."It's him."
Hinata didn't even have to ask. She knew exactly who he was talking about. It was that man that always came up in their sessions. They guy was in Naruto's memories from childhood to manhood. And now he was in the newspaper. Not only that, they man was her other patients boyfriend.
She starred at Naruto and bit her bottom, this was still a dead end. And it was also a bad idea, for the guy was missing, she wanted to tell Naruto this. "Naruto-kun.."
"We need to find her." Naruto looked up at Hinata with that determined look of his. He was pointing to the picture of her. "We need to talk to Haruno Sakura."
Hinata was quiet on the way to Sakura's house. She was afraid the girl might say something about...Well her and Naruto. She might trigger something, and what if...She looked at Naruto who was looking out the cab window. His face was serious and determined. There was no stopping him. She guessed she would have to say something to Sakura before Naruto. That would really be the only solution.
"Seto, do you have kids?" Naruto asked the cabdriver before smiling. For some reason Naruto had a habit of talking to this cabdriver like a friend. To be honest it was a coincidence that they got a ride from him. He was just driving down the street when Naruto spotted him, at first it looked as if he was trying to get away. But some cars locked him in. So he had reluctantly let them in.
Seto sighed through his clench teeth. He really had a dislike for Naruto. Well, not only the blonde, there was other customers that were stupid. Why did he still have this job again? Kami, someone remind him."No, no I don't. Why do you ask?" He answered Naruto in his annoyed voice.
That didn't faze Naruto. He just thought Seto was one of those grump type of people."You look kind of old." He shrugged, innocently. Seto groaned and shook his head. He was only in his late twenties, did he really look that old? He happened to think he looked young and fresh. And Naruto looked stupid and...well stupid.
Hinata gasped at Naruto,"Naruto-kun, that's not very nice!" She scolded him and folded her arms. Seto didn't even look that old, but he did look as if he should have a kid or two. Though she wasn't going to say that out loud.
"Excuse me for speaking my mind." Naruto laughed a little and leaned his chin onto his knuckles. He started to look out the window again. Hinata looked at him, he seemed content. He was content?
"We're here." Seto announced, and parked the car on the curb. They were parked outside of a nice small house. Naruto stepped out of the car and tilted his head slightly. He thought she lived in an apartment...
"Are you sure?" Naruto asked Seto, he was doubting this was the right place. But Seto only scoffed and before he could give a sarcastic reply, Hinata grabbed Naruto's hand.
"We're here. She's staying at her parents house." Hinata told Naruto. He trusted her. After all Sakura was Hinata's patient, she should know what happens with her patient. He even saw Hinata check the files. Honestly he would trust Hinata even she had no real proof to show him. Naruto smiled at her softly and lightly squeezed her hand.
Hinata shyly smiled at him with rosy cheeks, but almost broke away from him when she heard Seto suddenly talk,"Ugh, I think I'm gonna puke." He shook is head at the two. Hinata felt a little embarrassed, so she tried to pull her hand away, but Naruto tightened his grip on it. She was surprised.
"Don't you have a job to attend to." Naruto mocked Seto before sticking his tongue out at the driver. How immature, but to Hinata it looked cute. Seto sighed and drove off, leaving Naruto and Hinata in front of the house. The two stepped up to the front porch and before they made it to the door a man came out.
He had dark hair and eyes. Just like Sasuke, Naruto couldn't help but stare. And strange enough the guy starred right back at him. Hinata blinked at the two unsure of what was happening. The man looked as if he was progressing toward Naruto until he saw Hinata. Then he left. Just like that. He was gone.
Naruto knew he saw that man before, he watched the man drive away."Naruto-kun?" Hinata glanced at him in concern. Naruto coughed and shook his. Right! They needed to focus. Plus if Sakura was up to it she could tell them who that guy was.
Naruto gently knocked on the door and quietly waited. The door slowly opened a little, it was cracked and there was an emerald green eye looking at them. Naruto grinned pleasantly."Hello! I'm Uzumaki Naruto and this is Hyuga Hinata." He gestured to Hinata."Can we talk with a Haruno Sakura?"
The door opened all the way. And standing there was the nurse with her short pink hair that rested on her shoulders. Her eyes were dark all around and she looked a little thinner than he last saw her. In fact she looked a lot worse than when he first saw her. He felt something stir in his stomach. Naruto was concerned for her."I'm Sakura. Please come in." She stepped out of the way.
Naruto and Hinata entered, Hinata went over to give Sakura a hug almost immediately. Naruto had almost forgot that she was her doctor too. Sakura hugged Hinata back with closed eyes. They talked a little before Sakura led them to the living room to sit down.
She only left the room temporarily to grab some snacks. She then returned with a pitcher of lemonade and some cookies. Sakura set them down on the coffee table before sitting on the couch across from them."So, Naruto, how are you doing?" She asked, kindly.
"I'm fine." He replied before grabbing a cookie. These cookies were good."Nice cookies." He nodded at her before taking another bite. He didn't seem to notice the tense atmosphere.
Sakura smiled at him softly,"You're still the same. Just as how Sasuke described you." She shook her head.
At the mention of his name Naruto stopped stuffing his face."Oh yeah?" He said slowly.
She nodded and poured them all a cup of lemonade."Yep, I know you're here to ask about him." She grabbed her cup and sipped her drink.
Naruto didn't dare grab his own cup now. He wasn't hungry or thirsty. He just wanted to hear about his missing friend. He opened up his mouth to ask about him, but Hinata spoke first.
"If it isn't too difficult to talk about for you." Hinata said tenderly. She didn't want to hurt Sakura in anyway. The woman was already going through a lot.
"It's okay, Naruto wants to hear about him." Sakura told Hinata and turned her head back to him."What do you want to hear?"
Naruto was silent. Honestly he didn't know what to ask now that he was here,"Ano..." He really didn't know what to say. He looked down and slowly bit his cookie in hand."Tell me whatever you want about him." He shrugged.
Sakura laughed a little,"Well, he was a jerk." She said shaking her head.
Naruto found himself laughing easily too,"Yeah, he was. Wasn't he?" He felt that he knew Sasuke even if couldn't remember him fully.
"He could also be a sweetheart too." Sakura smiled softly as she thought about him."And I loved him." By her tender and affectionate tone, Naruto could even tell that she really loved Sasuke back then and even now. Naruto remained quiet and so was Sakura before she set her cup down and began talking.
"And it's quite sad that I was the one that ended our relationship." She sighed sadly."I guess I was so mad because he would disappear for a while saying it was part of his job. Of course I didn't believe him. And we started arguing a lot. Until that one night...I ended it."
"That night a lot of terrible things flew from my mouth...And I regret it all. If I knew that it was going to be the last time...No I mean if I knew that it was going to be a while before I'd see him again...I would have changed everything I said." She took in a deep breath. She seriously didn't need to cry. She had cry too much for the past few months he'd been missing.
"When he left he said he'd be back for his stuff and in the meanwhile he'd stay with you, Naruto. But he never answered my calls and he never called and he was just gone. He was missing. So when I told the police this they just though I was some stalker ex girlfriend! They just thought he ran away and soon they stopped searching thinking he was just gone."
Sakura shook her head vigorously."But he's not gone he's out there somewhere! I tried calling you but you were gone too!" She felt that lump in her throat and so she blinked away the upcoming tears."I-I don't want to believe that he's really gone. It's not like Sasuke to run away. And I know he didn't die!" Her sight was now blurred by tears. Big drooping tears. They ran down her face silently."I just can't believe he's dead, that would be like giving up on him." She said through a choke. It hurt, it just hurt to much for her to bare. She hated crying that's all she could do. Cry and nothing for Sasuke.
Hinata sighed lightly. She knew something like this would happen. It was such a delicate subject for Sakura. Here she was crying like she did through all their sessions. Hinata came over and hugged the girl in attempt to give her comfort.
All Naruto could do was watch her break down. It was such a heart breaking scene. He felt her pain, his chest was tightening at just this. Not the pleasant chest tightening, but the painful one. He wanted to comfort her too, but what could he possibly do. This woman really loved Sasuke. And now he was gone to wherever he was.
His mouth wouldn't open to say anything, it was just in a straight line as he watched her cry."He..." It finally opened his mouth, but it opened on it's own. He was going to say something to her, something Sasuke said. Sakura looked up at Naruto confused with big wet tears staining her face. They were started to stop. What was he going to say? He was going to say something!
Suddenly Sasuke's voice played in his head. It kept saying the same thing over and over again. And each time it was cut off. "Call her for me, tell her I'm sorry and-" He got it now. He remembered that memory, he dreamed it in the hospital. He now knew who Sasuke asked him to call."He wanted me to tell you he was sorry...and..."
Sakura looked up at him expectantly. What was Sasuke going to say after that? Naruto looked at Hinata who looked back at him with gentle eyes."And...he wanted me to tell you that...he loves you." Even though he was saying this to Sakura, he starred right at Hinata.
The pinkette bit her bottom lip to hold back her tears,"Thank you, Naruto. Thank you so much."
Naruto now understood why she questioned him like that back at the hospital. She just wanted to know where Sasuke was. And maybe that's why he felt a connection to her. He smiled sadly at her. But watching her cry like that hurt him and knowing that she was going through all this pain made him angry. He hated the people that took Sasuke away from her and he hated the people that took away his memories!
And just like Sakura he refused to believe Sasuke was dead! He had to believe he was alive. Naruto stood up and looked down at Sakura with focused yet determined eyes."Haruno Sakura." She looked up at him with a little look of confusion again."I know it hurts. But I promise you, you're pain will go away soon."
Hinata also looked up at his serious face. What was he talking about?"I'll bring Sasuke back to you!" He exclaimed, looking at her."And that's a promise of a lifetime! Believe it!" He grinned brightly and gave her a thumbs up.
His smile seemed to brighten up the room. And they were all quiet while Naruto still stayed in his pose. His thumb was starting to shake a little. Finally Sakura bursted into tears, big fat ones rolled down her! That wasn't suppose to be her reaction.
To Naruto's surprise Sakura jumped up and wrapped her arms up around him."Thank you thank you thank you!" She repeated over and over again. Naruto was hesitant to hug her back, but slowly did after Hinata beckoned him onto from behind. And when he hugged her, it was different from him and Hinata's hugs. It was warm and friendly. He felt something like a strong bond, of course it didn't make him feel as good as he did with Hinata. But he felt happy knowing he could do something for this girl. Because without knowing it his and he love for Sasuke made them friends.
Later on they decided to leave instead of bothering Sakura anymore. She needed her rest and they were both concerned for her quite frankly. As they stepped out the door Naruto remembered that man,"Oh, Sakura-chan. Who was that guy that was here before us?"
Sakura tilted her head,"What guy?" She blinked."Oh! You mean Itachi! He's Sasuke's brother, he comes to visit me and make sure I'm alright every now and then." She smiled while looking at her own feet."Everybody's been really concerned about me lately. But they don't need to worry anymore, I'll get better. Because I know Sasuke will be back."
The weight of that promise finally set down on Naruto. "Ohhhh yeah, no worries! Believe it!" He chuckled nervously, hoping Sakura wouldn't see through him. But Hinata saw it all. She giggled a little as Naruto turned around and walked over to the sidewalk.
"So he doesn't know?" Sakura asked as soon as he was out of earshot.
Hinata didn't need to ask, she already knew what Sakura was talking about."No, he doesn't need to know. It was only really one night anyway."
"If it was only one night. Then why don't you tell him? Tell him about you guys?" She frowned sadly at Hinata. But the midnight haired woman didn't answer, she just walked away.
"Just make sure you tell him and he doesn't figure out on his own." Sakura whispered to Hinata.
Hinata didn't reply or turn around she just kept walking. Naruto glanced at her curiously. He could tell something was wrong,"What's the matter?" He asked laying his hands on his head and letting his elbow poke out to the side.
"Nothing." She shook her head. She remembered that night. It was so depressing at first because of her break up, but then he was there like a...Her thoughts went elsewhere."Naruto! I know who can find out the coordinates!" She exclaimed excitedly.
Naruto who was now just as excited as her grinned,"Really? Who!?" He asked joyously.
Hinata's adorable face grinned as well,"My ex boyfriend!" She said, pumped up.
Naruto's grin slowly dropped."Say what?" He asked shortly. At that moment Naruto finally rediscovered what the feeling jealousy was and how it felt. He did not like this, he did not like this one bit.