Disclaimer: I do not own the Naruto series, nor the characters depicted in it.

Five Pins

She wore five pins in her hair. Five little, jewelled pins – each lacquered with hard enamel, each a different colour. Each coated with poison. Deadly in the hands of a weapons master. She used them to pin up her hair in the bun that she had worn for most of her lifetime. She took them out now.

The emerald-green pin

It was the first pin that he had given her, a long time ago. She had woken up late for one of their missions, back when they were still Genin training under Gai-sensei. She didn't have time to pin her hair up properly, so it had floated free. They had split up in the mission, and he had been the only one with her at that time. She had been embarrassed, and later explained to him that he was the first person to ever see her with her hair down.

He had given her the pin the next day. He had said that he preferred working with her when she had her hair up. When questioned further, he had admitted that it distracted him to see her with her hair down.

It had been the first indication that he might have reciprocated her feelings.

She had distracted him too, this time. Neither of them had expected an ambush, and had reacted too slowly. He had stood in front of her at the last minute and taken the attack meant for her. His body lay crumpled beneath her feet now.

With a savage fury, she drove the emerald pin into the body of the first ninja.

The sapphire-blue pin

He had given her this pin on the day that his cousin abolished the branch house and reunited the Hyuugas. He had said that it represented the sky and his freedom to soar, no longer a caged bird. It had been one of the most important days in his life, and he had brought her close to share it with him. They had held hands, he had kissed her for the first time.

It had also been the day he proposed to her. He was free to start a new family, free to start a new life for himself, free of the curse that had hung over him. Free from death. But in the end, death had claimed him anyway.

With a chilling accuracy, she threw the sapphire pin into the throat of the second assailant.

The ruby-red pin

He had given this pin to her on their wedding night. Laughingly, she had asked if he intended to give her pins on each anniversary. He had responded with the statement that he wanted to be the only person she would let down her hair for. He had given the pin to her as a reminder of their vow to love each other forever. Red had been the symbol of love for them.

Red had also been the symbol of blood – the blood that had come when she had given herself to him on that night, when her hair had covered them both. The blood that was now spilled across the front of her blouse. His blood.

With a raging heart, she sent the ruby pin into groin of the third attacker.

The pearl-pointed pin

It had been a doubly-joyous occasion when he had given her this pin. It was the day of their tenth anniversary, as well as the day she told him he was going to be a father. He had been so overjoyed at the news that there had been tears in his eyes as he had held her close. Pearls for tears. Pearl-white for the purity of his heart, when he told her again how much he loved her. Pearls for the irises of his eyes, and for their son's eyes too. Eyes that had always seen her, eyes that had been used to protect her. Eyes that would never open again.

With a blurred vision, she stabbed the pearl pin into the eye of the fourth murderer.

The golden-tipped pin

He had just given her this pin two days ago. It had been their thirtieth anniversary, and he had thanked her for all the golden days that they had shared. Golden, laughter-filled days. Days made sweet knowing that they had each other. They had promised each other to spend the rest of their lives together – to live and die together. He said that this pin represented all that they had shared so far, and all of the bright future ahead of them. The future they no longer had.

With a sorrowful hand, she took the last pin and put it where he belonged – in her heart.

As she fell to the ground beside him her hair came loose from the bun, covering both of them in a shroud of brown and white, reaching to their ankles.

He had still been the only person to see her with her hair down.