Cerulean eyes gleamed brightly. "Don't they look so cute together?" She sighed dreamily. The blond sat between the brooding Uchiha and Uzumaki. Ino nudged both males with her elbows. "I said, don't they look so cute together?" She repeated.
Naruto grumbled. "I guess."
Sasuke shrugged. "I wouldn't know." His eyes narrowed at noticing Hinata passing Renji a bento filled with mini tomatoes. "Those tomatoes should be mine…" He mumbled childishly.
Ino raised her brow. Lately she has noticed the two males acting rather…indifferent. It's clear that Naruto and Sasuke didn't care for Renji. Originally she thought they had feelings for the princess. However, it turned out that the young guards are merely jealous because they felt as if Renji had taken away their friend. Ino had met Hinata ten years after Hinata had befriended Sasuke and Naruto. She had always noticed how close the three were. Both males have no living relatives and have grown to view Hinata as family.
Grinning cheekily, Ino wrapped her arms around their necks. "You two are so cute when you're jealous."
"I'm not jealous!" Naruto retorted.
"Don't touch me with such formality!" Sasuke snapped.
Ino sighed. "You two are hopeless. Well I better go. Don't you guys bother Hinata while she's with Renji, got it?" She scolded, turning away.
Sasuke scoffed, folding his arms while Naruto pouted. "Tch, she's annoying. Why can't Hinata-chan have friends who are like her?" The blond whined.
The black haired male shrugged as Naruto began walking towards the princess and Renji.
"Hey, where are you going?" Sasuke questioned.
Naruto looked over his shoulder. "To talk to Hinata-chan. Are you coming?"
Sasuke sighed, reluctantly following. "Whatever."
"Those two are nothing more than perverted old men. Ha-ha, your sister guessed right." Renji's loud laughter filled the vicinity.
Hinata giggled. "They seem like nice noblemen. Though I must admit, I wasn't expecting Hanabi to inform me of what Lord Hatake said." The blue haired beauty blushed darkly. When Hanabi told her Kakashi compared her to a woman from an erotic novel, she didn't know rather to feel disgusted or take it as a compliment. Either way, it was quite…awkward to find out.
Renji tilted his head. "Are you always so polite when speaking?"
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"Well, I've noticed you always use formalities when talking to someone. It's not like those two old geezers are around. It's alright to say Kakashi or Kisuke." He said, smiling lopsidedly.
Hinata's brows furrowed. She knew that she is polite, but it was the way she has been raised. If her father heard her speak to someone so formally, she would be scolded. Biting down on her bottom lip, Hinata spoke. "But it's the way I have been raised…it would be hard to break that habit."
Renji sighed, placing his hand on top of her head. "Eh, I suppose that's what makes you so different. But that's what I like about ya'." He grinned, ruffling her hair.
"Renji-kun, you're ruining my hair." She blushed darkly from the contact, trying to fix her hair back in place.
"Hinata-chan, how come you didn't fix us anything? I thought you loved us." The blond whined, clinging to Hinata's waist, tears forming in the corner of his eyes.
Renji scolded. "Get off of her, idiot!" The red haired male tried pulling the blond away from Hinata.
"Let go of me, you pineapple loser! She was my friend before she was yours!" Naruto shouted, glaring.
Sasuke stood in silence watching the two. One refused to let go of Hinata and the other trying desperately to pull the blond off. It's rather tiring to watch. "Why don't you both act like mature men. Let go of the princess Naruto. You're behaving childishly. It's making her feel uncomfortable." The Uchiha sighed, hitting both males on their heads.
Renji and Naruto shot Sasuke a glare, blushing from embarrassment while mumbling apologies. Hinata shook her head, smiling awkwardly. After a few moments of silence, Hinata eyed her two friends. "Aren't you two supposed to be at your post?"
Naruto coughed. "Well, we um decided to take a little break. I'm sure Hyuuga-sama wouldn't mind it. Besides we hardly get to spend any time with you anymore, because of this guy hogging up all your time." He eyed Renji. "You have work to do around here too, you know." The blonde pointed accusingly to Renji. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you have a crush on Hinata-chan."
Renji and Hinata blushed, looking away from each other. Sasuke, who noticed this, smirked. By Hinata being the princess, there have been many men trying to get close to her, some just for the money and others to become a future king. Many of these men Sasuke and Naruto had to scare away, mainly because they weren't good enough for their friend. But this guy…he seemed different. Hinata had changed since his arrival at the Hyuuga palace. She had become more laid-back and outgoing. In his eyes, it was a good thing.
"Come on, miso breath. Let's leave them alone." Sasuke said.
Naruto did a double look. "B-But Sasuke, we can't just leave him alone with Hinata-chan!"
"I said let's go!" He reached out, grabbing the back of Naruto's collar. His black hues met with Renji's hazel eyes. "You better take care of her." Sasuke warned.
Renji seemed taken by a surprised, but soon understood the meaning behind his words. Once the two were out of ear range, Renji glanced over at Hinata. Her appearance looked so serene and peaceful. Raising his hand, he caressed her cheek gently.
"Re-Renji…" Hinata whispered.
He parted his lips. "Hinata, there is something I want—"
"Hinata-hime, your cousin has requested your presence…huh? Oh, p-please forgive my intrusion! I hope I'm not interrupting anything." Hanataro blushed darkly. His eyes narrowed to the side, trying his hardest to look anywhere but at the couple.
Renji growled. "Of all the times to show up, you just had to come now!" He shouted at the nervous servant.
"I-I'm sorry Renji-san. I didn't mean to. I promise not to mention a word of this to Lord Hyuuga." He bowed repeatedly.
Hinata, who had now recovered from her trance, focused on Hanataro. "It's quite alright Hanataro-kun. There isn't a need to apologize. Where is Neji-niisan?"
Hanataro's eyes shifted to the left. "He should be right over there somewhere. He was speaking to a few guests of his…um I believe their names were Tenten and Lee."
Hinata's eyes widened at the mention of their names. Tenten and Lee are children of Gai Maito, a well-known samurai in Japan. Tenten and Lee are also very skilled in martial arts, and have been teaching Neji a few moves. "Excuse me Renji."
Renji waved her off. "Yeah, I'll see you later." His hazel irises trailed down to Hanataro. "Hey, can I ask you something?"
The male nodded. "S-Sure, what is that you want to ask Renji-san?"
Renji blushed lightly. "You know Hinata pretty well, don't you?"
"I've only been working here for eight months. So I don't know her too well. Someone like Naruto or Sasuke would, considering they refer to her as their sister. Is there something you wanted to know?" He questioned.
"Um, never mind. Thanks anyways." Stuffing his hands into his pockets, he past the shorter male. He wanted to know more about Hinata. Asking Naruto would be out of the question. That blond already despised him, plus he was rather annoying. Renji would like to stay away from the creepy bathroom stalker. Then there is Sasuke. He seems a tad bit more lenient than Naruto and less troublesome, despite his arrogant aura.
Turning down the corridors, he spotted just who he was thinking about. Sasuke stood in front of the double sliding doors, his expression unreadable, and most likely guarding Hanabi's room. Luckily Naruto wasn't anywhere around. Approaching the man, he smirked. "Do you always look so serious while on guard duty?" Renji snickered.
Sasuke glowered. "What do you want? I'm busy."
"Relax. I'm not here to make fun of you. I just wanted to ask you something." He paused. "You're close friends with Hinata, right?"
"Yeah, I am. Why are you asking?" The Uchiha raised his brow.
"I want to do something special for Hinata…but I'm not sure what she likes." He coughed.
Sasuke smirked. "Ah, I see. What makes you so sure I'll tell you?"
Renji pressed his lips tightly. "Tch, forget I even asked." He turned around.
"Hey, wait! I'm only messing around." Sasuke watched as Renji slowly turned back around. "Hinata-hime isn't like other girls. So don't bother going out of your way and buying her something really expensive. She enjoys the simpler things, flowers, stargazing or even something as plain as a few find words. Hinata-hime is special in that way. She's one of a kind to many males." Sasuke explained.
Renji let the words sink in. "Hm, thanks for the advice. You're not such a bad guy. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you have a thing for her." He smiled.
"I couldn't view the princess in that way even if I wanted to. She is pretty, but Hinata-hime is like a sister to me." Sasuke returned the smile with a smirk. "But thanks. You aren't either aren't so bad yourself. Though I must warn you, if you plan on trying to court the princess, you will meet a boulder in the middle of the road. You'll have to move it by force if you want to get to the princess. Now if you'll excuse me, I must continue my guarding duties without any interruptions." Sasuke's expression turned into stone, as he looked ahead, standing in a straight position while ignoring Renji's presence.
"A boulder in the middle of the road? What could that mean?i" Renji thought. Walking away, he pondered Sasuke's words.
Emerald eyes scanned the room. A frown sketched his way across the pale features. "Where is Hyuuga-sama?" The sonorous voice questioned.
"Hyuuga-sama should be arriving soon." Rin replied nervously. The door slide opened, causing Rin to sigh in relief. "Hyuuga-sama, you have guest." He bowed, respectively.
Hiashi nodded, dismissing Rin. "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting, Hitsugaya-sama. I'm sure you were treated with respect in my absence?"
Toshiro nodded. "Yes, I was."
"Would you care for any tea, sir Hitsugaya?" A woman bowed beside the white haired male.
"Yes, peppermint flavor please. Thank you." He smiled politely, causing the woman to blush lightly.
Hiashi cleared his throat. "Shall we get to business?"
"Ah, if it isn't the beautiful and youthful Hinata-sama, it's so good to see you on this exuberant day!" Lee boosted, grinning ear to ear.
Tenten and Neji groaned. "Calm down Lee. You act as if you haven't seen her in ages." The brown haired girl turned to Hinata, smiling apologetically. "Please forgive Lee. You know he can be a tad bit…vivacious." She chuckled awkwardly.
Hinata smiled knowingly. "It's quite alright." Her lavender eyes met with Lee's large black hues. "It's good to see you as well, Lee-kun."
The bowl-cut haired male continued grinning cheekily. "Hinata-sama have you given it any thought of visiting us someday? Neji-kun has come many times, but you have not. It would be quite the excitement to show you the dojo sometimes and hang out."
"She's the princess, Lee. She isn't allowed as much freedom as you would think." Neji said, but tensed when he noticed Hinata's dejected expression. "I'm sorry Hinata-sama. I did not mean to…"
"It's quite alright. You don't need to apologize, Neji-niisan. And please, I've told you before not to refer to me as 'sama'." She said.
Neji looked down, nodded. "Forgive me."
Hinata smiled. "Don't be. Please excuse me. I must be going now. It was nice seeing you two again." She bowed to both siblings. Walking away, Hinata sighed. She knew Neji was right. Being the princess of the Hyuuga family does limit her freedom. Although Neji is a part of the wealthy family, he has more freedom than she does. He often goes out to spend time with his friends. Neji has also been to Japan's most popular festival, the one she has never been to due to her father banning her from going.
Life as a princess isn't exact the fairy tale a girl would dream of.
Passing through the gardens, she spotted Renji standing on the small bridge over the mini pond. Smiling warmly, Hinata approached him. "H-Hello," she spoke shyly.
Renji turned. "Yo."
"You were saying something earlier. What was it?" She asked curiously.
Renji scratched the back of his head. "Oh, yeah about that…um well, where can I start?" He chuckled. Turning to face her, he grabbed her hands. "Hinata, from the moment I met you there has been a pounding in my chest that I couldn't ignore, not even if I tried. You have made my time as a guard much enjoyable. I find myself happy just to see your smiling face. And the way you blush over every little thing. Before I met you, I thought you were going to be a spoiled, bratty princess, who always wanted everything her way, but you weren't like that. To be honest, you are the complete opposite." He paused, taking a step closer to her, standing only inches away from her.
"I've grown fond of you Hinata. I…I've come to love you." He confessed.
Hinata's eyes widened. "Y-You really love me?"
Renji nodded. "I do." He smiled warmly.
She wouldn't have guessed that he has fallen for her all this time. Her heart skipped a beat, as butterflies fluttered in her stomach. The very man she has fallen for…loves her. "Renji-kun, I lo—"
"Ah, there you are. Hinata I've been looking for you"
Hinata turned around to see her father. Next to him was a shorter, but yet handsome male, someone who she didn't recognize.
Hiashi motioned his hand to the male next to him. "Hinata this is Lord Toshiro Hitsugaya. He is your future husband." He introduced the two together.
Hinata and Renji's eyes widened. Just moments ago the red head had confessed his love to the princess and something like this has to happen.
Maybe this is what Sasuke was referring to.
This Hitsugaya person is the boulder in the middle of the road towards his path to Hinata.