• Behind the Smile

    Chapter 7: The Understanding of Love




    Rays of pale moonlight shone through the lone window, falling upon the sparsely furnished hospital room. The reflection from the glossy tiles amidst the floor provided the room with a luminescent glow, only fading as occasional shadows scudded across the face of the cratered moon. A lone figure sat upright in the rounded window seal, his gaze holding the sleeping Konoha before him.

    His deep cerulean eyes were slightly dulled, reflecting drowsiness, and also the conflicting thoughts running through his head. By the time of night the moon proclaimed, it was past the time he usually retired to sleep. The wounds he was suffering, and the itching of the bandages wrapped around him added to that temptaion. But the number one loud ninja wasn’t missing sleep because of the injuries he sustained, or the itchiness of the skin under the bandages.

    The source of his restlessness was asleep in the bed behind him, breathing gently, unaware of the presence of anyone who would come and go to see her. Unaware of his unabsent presence in this room since the day she had gotten here. A week had passed since then, a week had passed for her body to do the rest of the healing that wasn't able to be done with any medical specialist. Something about the attack that had peirced her abdomen, Sasuke's Chidori, allowed little to no help in healing from the most skilled of the medical ninjas. Her bandages had to be replaced daily, and routine checks, various times a day were a must for the unconcious kunoichi.

    He glanced towards Sakura, letting his cerulean eyes fall on her as she slightly stirred. The moonlight was brushing across her face, illuminating the pink hair strew across the pillow, and the stray stands of hair lying over her pale, porcelain-like face. Her lashes seemed longer as they covered her miraculous emerald eyes, fluttering ever so slightly in occasion. Her rosy lips were parted slightly, her chest rising and falling gently with her light breathing. Nothing had changed since the first day she spent here. Color was obvious, the very pale, ghostly color had left her, the excessive bleeding had stopped. But her eyes had not opened.

    His eyes rested on her for a slight while longer before he dragged them back to gaze out the window from his posistion on the rounded window-seal. In his mind's eye he couldn't help but go over the recent events, at least the ones that were still fresh in him mind, his heart.


    Sakura and Sasuke were inches from contact with their powerful attacks at hand. He had started running towards them, using all the speed he could to reach the two before they collided, knowing the consequences if he did not. Yet he could only watch as they met, a large blinding light engulfing them.

    The immense boom had created a large tremor beneath the earth, and created a deafening ring of sound as its force sent him flying back, digging into the ground as he landed.

    When he had bolted up from his posistion, and when that last trace of smoke and debree and retreated, his only saw a very large crater, marking the center of where Sasuke and Sakura had met attacks, neither one of them were still there. The paths of destruction from the left and right of the crater signaled their locations.

    He couldn't describe the gut-wrenching feeling that had consumed him.


    His cerulean eyes glanced to the door as it lightly creaked open, making room for the nurse who quietly walked in. She glanced at him, meeting his gaze breifly before she walked over to Sakura, ready for her usual rounds. When she glanced to him again, he finally let his cerulean eyes return to their former fixation.


    “Why did you let Sakura fight me!This was supposed to be between me and you!” He felt the burning sensation as Sasuke delivered a punch. “ It’s your fault!”

    “I’m not the one who stabbed her!”He punched him back. “ Look at your hand teme!” He grabbed Sasuke’s hand and threw it in his face. “ Look at your hand!”


    He really had though that Sakura was lost to him. He couldn't explain hat gut wrenching feeling that came over him. He had wanted to vomit, rip his heart out in the hopes that the knife digging into it would dissapear, that the dream, would dissapear. He never wanted to feel that again.


    “Get away from me!” Naruto kept yelling. Shinobi were continously thrown off the emotional young man as he seemingly tried to make his way away from the forest clearing. His eyes were smoldering, determined, yearning to leave. Most likely after Sasuke. Tears still rimmed his eyes, though his anger had halted them.

    Kakashi appeared in the clearing, his solemn eyes watching the ninjas' fultie attempt to try and restrain the fuming blonde-haired shinobi. Though his cerulean eyes had glanced to the silver-haired Jounin as he sensed his appearance.

    "Kakashi!...Sasuke!..he-he killed her!" At the mention of the kunoichi's name, the greif once again entered his voice. "He killed her!" As the greif overtook him in another wave, he lowered to the ground, doing nothing to thwart away to the ANBU who placed their hands on him, ready to restrain him if he burst out again.

    "Sakura's alive, Naruto."

    End Flashback

    The moon still bathed his face in pale beams of light as he slid out of the dream-like state he had fallen into. The memory still irked him, even after the week that had passed. He had let Sakura get hurt badly, she really had been on the edge of death. He had let her get hurt again, by the same guy who continued to hurt her in the past.

    His head immediately perked up from its former posistion as she sensed someone coming up behind him. Someone he hadn't sensed nor heard come in.

    Shattering could be heard as a glass bowl full of ramen fell to the ground. Naruto’s eyes widened as the moons rays shined over the features of the figure in front of him. He gazed into deep pearl eyes. Scared, pearl eyes. He immediately lowered the kunai.


    Immediatley the Hyuuga sunk down to the ground, and with shakey hands, began picking up the broken pieces. “I-I’m sorry N-Naruto-kun.” The stuttering she had left behind years ago, entered her throat once again.

    “No I’m sorry Hinata-chan..here.” He kneeled down in front of her, placing his hands on hers, gently raising her off the ground till they were both standing.

    “I’ll clean this up.” He flashed her smile and knelt down, beginning his cleaning.

    Hinata blushed at his smile, though guilt still flickered across her face.

    “N-Naruto-kun, you should let me-.”

    “No I’m sorry I ruined this, the least I can do is clean it up.” He stood up with the broken pieces in hand and traveled over to a trash can. All that was left was the ramen. “I’ll go get some towels.” Naruto had no time to reject as she hurried out the door. He sighed and sat down in front of the ramen. He looked at the ramen as if studying it.

    It was then that he let out a small grin, his cerulean eyes lighting up as if he had thought of something.


    Hinata hung her head down as she clutched the towels firmly in her hand. She was so naïve and stupid. She just wanted to see Naruto and help him feel better so she made him some ramen. The Ichiraku, his favorite place, was closed for the night, so she decided to at least make him some of her own. Hoping it wouldn’t taste so bad.

    She shouldn’t have disturbed his rest. She was probably the last thing he wanted to see right now, and she had made a fool out of herself.

    Her thoughts abrubtly stopped as she approached the destined door. Hinata, shyly stepped in and made her way over to Naruto. When she looked to the ground, there was no ramen, just a few noodles here and there, and the juice along with it. She could see Naruto slurping up the last noodle.

    He looked up at her with a big grin on his face. "Hinata-chan where did you get this Ramen! Its better than Ichiraku’s!” He stood up and walked over to her. She shyly fiddled her fingers together, looking up at her crush who towered at least a foot above her. “I-Ichiraku’s was closed so I m-made some myself..but you don’t have to l-lie about how it tastes.”

    Naruto's gaze turned into that of a serious one, yet gentle all the more. “Hinata-chan...I would never lie to you.“ The one to his voice was soft, yet meaningful as he wanted to get the point across. He gentle took the towerls from her light grasp before bending down to clean up what was left of the ramen.

    Her pearl eyes watched him as his hand directed the towl over the juices amidst the floor. Though her eyes perked with worry as she noticed him flinching a few times with certain movement. He probably hadn't thought it being noticeable.

    “Naruto-kun, are you ok?” He looked up at her, puzzled for a second. Than he figured she must have noticed. “Of course! It’s just a scratch…but usually it would heal by now, kinda weird..” He made his way over to the moonlit window seal and resumed his postion, looking out the window.

    “Hey you can come sit if you want, there’s plently of room” He persuaded Hinata. She looked at him, the whole time fiddling her fingers. “ I don’t want t-to intrude..I-I should probably g-go, I know right now is a bad time to see you..” The next thing she knew, Naruto was right in front of her.

    “So…you don’t want to see me?” His words surprised Hinata.

    “N-No that’s not what I meant! I just figured you probably w-wouldn’t want to see me right now, especially when your with Sakura..” She put on a smile ready to turn around. But she was stopped when see heard a slight chuckle from Naruto. She turned around to see Naruto with both hands behind his head while he sort of looked up to the ceiling in disbelief.

    “So that’s what you’ve thought this whole time!” He sort of almost playfully said, still nonplused. “ You think that I still love Sakura-chan?” He let out a small laugh. Hinata’s eyes just widened a bit. “ I admit still do..but not in that way..i love her as a friend, one of my most precious friends, and I’d protect her with my life..and put her happiness above my ownHe looked over to Hinata, lowering his voice a bit. “ But I don’t know how I’d live without her..” His voice changed from serious to gentle.. “But don’t think that I don’t want to see you Hinata-chan..anytime is fine for me..” He flashed her a big grin. “ Because you’re a great person, and I’d give up eating ramen to see you!” Hinata just blushed widly, she almost looked on the verge of crying. She gave him a big smile.

    “Thankyou Naruto-kun…” She bowed her head down, raising her hands to her face.

    It didn't take long before she joined him on that rounded window seal. Their conversaton was light, the main satisfaction coming from just sitting their, the silence calming.

    A weak, yet genuine smile graced her lips as her half-closed emerald eyes gazed at the two.

    They may not have known it yet, or, Naruto might not have known it yet, but things were a little more than a simple crush. She was very happy for her best friend, though, in a way, it was almost sad to see that he had someone else, however selfish that sounded. She had gotten so used to always having him around, hearing him proclaim his affection for her, seek to always be near her. He said he would never leave her, but he didn't realize that he did, he was.


    She had been sitting on that same bench for a long while now, waiting for what seemed like forever. Though, it wasn't really all about her patience, it was the certain bench that she had been asked to meet him at. The rough, yet smooth concrete bench, always sturdy, always standing, always with memory.

    Naruto knew what meaning that bench had to her, and yet he had still asked her to meet him there.

    Her emerald eyes transitioned to the blonde-haired ninja as she observed him running towards her after his sharp turn from the busy streets. He didn't say anything till he standing in front her.

    "Sakura-chan. Im really sorry, please don't be mad." The tone of his voice truly was guilty, but he didn't have as much enunciation as he usually did, his voice was almost low, quiet. Uncanny for Konoha's number one loud ninja.

    Her head almost slightly turned as her emerald eyes studied him, her ears wary, curious. A small, breif moment of pause ensued between the two, another weird occurence to her. Flashing him a smile, she motioned for him to sit down on the bench next to her. He obeyed, clasping his hands lightly together as he did, his cerulean eyes trained to the ground ahead of him. He almost seemed nervous, contemplative.

    "Naruto, what did you want?" She made her voice as light and cheery as she could, noticing his serious ecpression. And that fact that something was bothering him. As if on que, and almost to the point where he cut her off, he replied, his tone sudden, serious, almost afraid.

    "What do you see in Sasuke?" Her head slightly rose, her emerald eyes slightly flickering with knowing, solemness. She was setback by his inquiry. His serious gaze was still averted from hers.


    "Do you still love him?" It was then that his cerulean gaze met hers, serious, yet very unreadable. She was set back yet again, her gaze questioning, yet wavering as she stared into his. The look on her face answered his question. He let a small, ghostly grim travel to his lips. He let out a small intake of breath, knowingly, almost sadly just as much it was amused. The solemness in his eyes could easily be seen now.


    Her eyes slightly widened, her gaze never leaving his. Her lips undiscernably agape as she tried to find the words to say.

    "You haven't seen him in years...He's never given any hint to returning your feelings, even motion to the chance of him ever stepping foot in Konoha again."

    "I know, I know." She let a breif smile flash across her face. "I've accepted that, really." She kept up her small smile, even as she clearly noticed the look that flickered in the depths of Naruto's eyes. Though it didn't seem to come from her words. His voice was calm, yet almost dissapointed, meaningful.

    "You haven't fooled me, Sakura-chan.." Her gaze slightly widened, almost speculatively as she looked at him. He didn't continue on that thought, though he knew that she knew exactly what he was talking about. The way her smiles had become feigned, forced, fake. Her demeanor, everything. She went around acting like she was perfectly fine, that she had gotten over a certain Uchiha, but she hadn't, and he knew it.

    Her eyes wavered as she looked at him, though she said nothing. It was then that he let his cerulean eyes avert away from hers.

    "Sasuke, he hasn't done anything good for you, even gone he hasn't-"

    "What's your point, Naruto?" Her voice was stern, impatient. She still seemed a little unnerved from his earlier comment, but because of this and of his recent one, she decided to express her unliking of the subject. There was no point in continuing to fool the someone who hadn't been fooled.

    "Sasuke, Sakura-chan. That's my point. He's not good for you, continuing to love him after all these years is not good for you."

    "You don't know that."

    "He's not the same guy he was before, and even then he was horrible to you.." His voice was still calm, quiet, yet perplexed. "He dropped everything so he could get stronger, he traded everything just so he could kill his brother-"

    "Don't judge him." Her tone was cold as she snapped at him. "You don't understand the things he's been through. You don't even try too!" She couldn't help it as her voice grew higher in tone. "So what he left, did you expect me to just forget about him? I don't care what he does, it won't change how I feel. I seem to be the only one here who sees the reasons behind that he's done, who's trying to show him that he was a home to come home too!"

    Naruto stayed in his same posistion, hands lightly clasped together, head slightly lowered. He had closed his eyes, seeemingly in effort to keep himself calm, and in slight bewilderness that he knew something like this would happen. It was only when he sensed her standup did he open his solemn, calm cerulean eyes to look up at her.

    "And you, you of all people, should be trying to understand him-"

    "Sakura-chan." His voice was calm, meaningful. "I wasn't questioning his reasons for leaving. I'm trying to understand why you still have feelings for him. He did mean things to you deliberately, and you can't expect to use his goals as an excuse...But even knowing that, I can't accept that."

    "Well it's not for you, to accept, Naruto."

    "Do you remember the day you accepted my friendship, Sakura-chan?" Sakura paused. "You can't expect me to sit around and watch you continue to hurt youself fantacizing over the man who will never return your feelings." Sakura very slightly shook her head as her haughty eyes looked at him.

    "If this what you brought me here for? To lecture me?"

    It was then that Naruto's eyes fell to the ground before him.

    "No..it's not." His tone almost seemed dissapointed as she said this, voice soft, grim.

    "Then what is it, Naruto? To tell me how pathetic I am with my unrequited feelings?" Naruto let his solemn eyes travel up to meet hers. "You don't even try to understand what Sasuke is going through, what I feel. You're just selfish, and you'll never understand love."

    He let out a release of breath, a grunt as a grim, sad smirk graced his lips. He looked down to the ground before him, slightly nodding his head, almost in knowingness, acceptance. Sakura's eyes slightly wavered as she looked at him, continuing to wait for his response. A breif silence had ensued between them, and she could see the difference in Naruto's stature. In the time that no words had been exchanged between them, she had calmed down, and slightly guiltiness at what she had just said began to seep in.

    When he spoke, his voice was almost sad, retreating.

    "I don't know anything about love, huh?"

    Her head slightly tilted up, her emerald eyes reflecting her guilt, yet her unwillingness to take back her words.

    "You don't, Naruto." He tone was soft, almost in a whisper.

    He let his cerulean eyes travel to breifly glance at her before he let out a small grunt of amusement, almost disbeleif. Though this was very soft, almost discernable. He shook one more nod before rising to his feet. Without a word he slightly walked past her, his back facing her as he finally stopped.

    The wind slightly picked up, bringing a few strays leaves to float past his backturned body.

    "Then I guess..you wouldn't belive me if I told you...I'm in love with you, Sakura-chan."

    End Flashback

    She remembered that day she let herself cry on the long walk home. The next day Naruto had left to train with Jiraiya, jipping her out of an opportunity to talk with Naruto. For two years he had been gone, she was sure he hadn't forgotten about what happened, but when he had finally come back to Konoha, he was normal, whether it had been feigned or for real. And she had been glad.

    That sole reason alone played a key factor in why she was so happy for him. It also played part in how she managed to start picking herself up. Even though she had denied in in their argument, she did understand where he was coming from, and what he was saying. And it was because of him that she strived to finally start doing better. The same day he had left she went to Tsunade, asking her for training. She started clearing her mind of Sasuke, tried to produce real smiles.

    She still wasn't sure even to this day if Naruto truly did love her in that way.

    But she was truly happy that Hinata had come into his life like she did.

    She was still waiting for that to happen to her.


    Sasuke sat on the lowest branch of a tree, it's thickness and sturdiness not bending in the slightest way to the Uchiha's weight. Deep obsidian orb, cold as steel, gazed lazily at the object in hand. He had been sharpening it to a nice point. Pressing his finger on the tip of it, he watched a droplet of blood ooze from the miniscule wound. Face portraying nothing, he packaged the kunai into the confines of his weapon pouch before letting his lazy eyes transistion to the sky above. The darkening day matched his mood.

    He let his gaze travel to the direction as his side before he disspeared. He appeared yards away as he traveled deeper into the forest.

    I will find you, Itachi!

    Thanks for reading. plz leave me some comments ......p.s wont update anymore untill next friday need to think of ideas for next chapter .......Again thx for reading!!! n_n