I Will Be There

A/N: Hi and thanks to everyone who's reading this story. I hope you enjoy my NejiHina story!

Summary: Neji had always looked out for Hinata when she was small. He always beated up the bullies that picked on her. But soon, the two's bond disappears. One day, Konoha gets ambushed by Orochimaru's subordinates and Neji finds himself protecting Hinata once more.

CHAPTER 1:

PROTECT

"You're weak! Weak!" yelled a bunch of boys. There were five of them.

Tears fell down Hinata's cheeks as the boys began to throw rocks at her. Rain fell heavily on the boys and Hinata.

"You can't even fight!" they mocked.

Hinata felt helpless. As she kept running, she tripped and fell on the ground. Hinata suddenly felt a burst of pain on her knee and noticed that she had deeply scraped her knee. She sat up and held her knees protectively.

"You don't deserve to live, Hinata Hyuuga. No one's here to protect you anymore." Said one boy, grabbing a sharp stone. He aimed it at Hinata and threw it with all his might.

Hinata shut her eyes tight, fearing where it would hit her. Suddenly, she could hear someone step in front of her. As she slowly opened her pearly white eyes, she saw her cousin grab the stone in his right hand. "N-Neji-niisan…!"

Neji's hand had began to turn bloody red.

Hinata watched in horror as she saw that Neji's hand was bleeding. But Neji didn't seem to care.

He dropped the stone and turned his hands into a fist. "Picking on a Hyuuga!" he said angrily.

"N-Neji-kun! G-gomenasai! W-We didn't mean to p-pick on H-Hinata!"

"I heard you say that she didn't deserve to live." Neji evilly looked at them. "Maybe it's you that don't deserve to live."

"N-No! W-We'll never b-bother her again."

Neji went up to one of the boys and punched the boy that said Hinata didn't deserve to live on the cheek. "You bastard."

The boy fell down and his cheek quickly turned red. "OWWWW!" he yelled. The boy ran away and following him was the other boys.

Hinata watched Neji as he came to help her up. His face suddenly turned warm and a smile formed on his lips. "C'mon, Hinata. Let's go home."

Hinata smiled back at him and struggled to get up but quickly fell down again because of her knee.

"Here. Climb on my back." Neji offered. Hinata climbed on his back and Neji carried her home. "Hinata?"

"Hai?"

"I'm glad you're safe. I was worried about you."

Pink circles formed on Hinata's cheeks. Even though Hinata was only seven years old, she had already gotten a small crush. Her crush was on Neji and even though she knew that it was impossible and stupid to like your cousin, she did. Besides, he would never return her feelings back anyways; or so she thought. So she kept her feelings to herself. "Thank you…for saving me today."

"Don't sweat it, okay? I could never forgive myself if I found you, hurt and bleeding."

That reminded Hinata. "Your hand…it's bleeding."

"Don't worry. I'll take care of it. But my main priority is to take you home."

Hinata smiled and she laid her head on Neji's back. Neji-niisan… She closed her eyes and slept for a while.

Suddenly there was a loud bang! The rain was getting heavier and lightning started to strike.

Hinata opened her eyes wide and gripped Neji's shirt.

"Hinata! What's wrong?"

"I-I hate loud noises…they scare me. It reminds me of a time I was small and was lost at a forest in Konoha and there was a big bomb near me. I fell unconscious and blacked out. I was so scared…!" her grip tightened. "Luckily, father found me and brought me home. But…I was still scared."

"Don't worry. I'm right here."

Hinata loosened her grip and calmed down a bit.

"Just go to sleep. Get some rest, okay? I'll protect you."

"Okay…" Hinata said, closing her eyes once more and trying to ignore those loud sounds.

:X:X:X:X

"Hinata…we're here."

Hinata opened her eyes. "Oh…" Neji let Hinata get off his back.

"G-Go to s-sleep in y-your room okay? I'm going to…going to…" Neji suddenly fell down.

"Neji-niisan! Are you alright!" Hinata ran to Neji and put her hand on his forehead. "Y-You have a fever!"

"It's alright…I'll be alright…really."

"Oh Neji-niisan…!" Hinata wiped her eyes. Once more, she was crying.

Luckily, a woman had seen the two children and walked up to them. "Children. Get out of the rain. Here, let me help you." The woman saw that Neji had a fever and carried him to a doctor. "You go to your father. You are Hinata right?"

Hinata nodded and kept silent.

"Okay. Run along now. I will see that this child will get well."

Hinata began to head to her home, but not before seeing Neji off.

Neji, who was half awake, clenched his fist. Those words echoed in Neji's head. This child… Didn't she know that he was Neji Hyuuga? Suddenly, he remembered. That woman must have been from the main house. He, Neji Hyuuga, was from the Branch house. That angered Neji a bit. He was strong, he had to admit himself, stronger then Hinata yet they acknowledged her but not him.

:X:X:X:X:X

The next day, Hinata went to visit Neji. "Neji-niisan!" she called out as she entered his house.

Neji came out of his room. "Ohayou, Hinata-sama."

Hinata put her hand on Neji's head. "You're head's not as hot. That's good."

"Yeah. Thanks for worrying."

Hinata smiled.

"Hey, Hinata. How's your knee?"

"It's a-okay!" she stretched her knee and chuckled a bit.

"That's great."

"Uh…Neji-niisan. Where's your father?"

Suddenly Neji's voice became cold. "He's not here. He's on a mission."

"Mission?"

Neji turned around. He didn't want to face Hinata right now. "He's on a mission for your father."

"My father? Why?"

Neji clenched his fist. He took a breath, then sighed and calmed down. "I don't know myself exactly."

"Um…Neij-niisan…?"

"Yeah?"

"D-do you wanna go to the market with me?"

"Sure thing. Of course I'll go." Neji smiled and put his shoes on. Hinata walked outside and waited for him. When he was ready, the two of them began to walk to the market.

"I have to pick something up for my father. It's really nothing; just bread. But he's been so busy so I didn't mind getting it." Hinata searched for the store. "Hm…"

Neji looked at Hinata. She looks…so pretty sometimes.

"Hey, you."

The two turned around. It was one of those boys from yesterday.

"Hyuuga Neji, what are you doing in the market with Hyuuga Hinata?"

"That's none of your business."

"I heard that Hinata is from the main house. Aren't you from the branch house?"

Neji widened his eyes.

"What do you mean? Neji-niisan is my cousin…no, my friend. Just go away." Hinata grabbed his hand and started walking faster.

"The main house is better then the branch house!"

"What is he talking about?" Hinata whispered to Neji.

"I-I don't know. F-forget about him." Neji lied.

"You're right."

"Neji, you're father is stupid!" The boy yelled.

Suddenly Neji's temper grew. He let go of Hinata's hand and ran to the boy. He grabbed the boy's neck and began to choke him on the ground.

A group of people saw him and tried to stop Neji from choking the boy.

"TAKE THAT BACK!" Neji yelled in the boy's face.

"Neji-niisan!" Hinata ran to Neji. She grabbed his arm and tried to stop him. "Please…stop it!"

"SHUT UP!" he snapped. Hinata was startled.

"Neji-niisan…please. This isn't you…please."

Suddenly, Neji realized that tears began to fall down his cheeks. He let go of the boy's neck. A man carried Neji off of the boy and put him down on the ground. "MY-MY FATHER IS NOT STUPID! DON'T SAY THAT! HE IS NOT!"

"Neji-niisan. Of course your father is not. Why would you listen to him?" Hinata said. She gently touched his arm.

Neji drew his arm back. Why did he listen to him? "Get away from me!" he snapped.

"Neji…"

"I said go!" Neji got up and started to head home. "I'm…I'm just not myself today…I'm going home."

Hinata bit her lip. "Neji-niisan…" she whispered to herself.

:X:X:X:X:X

Neji fell on his bed. For the first time in a long time, he cried for a long time. He cried so much, his pillow became wet and wrinkled. Neji finally stopped crying, but by now, he had almost fallen asleep now.

But Neji felt a horrible feeling in his gut. Something that had always been there but had grown. He didn't want to admit it. He didn't want to acknowledged it, but suddenly it became clear to him now.

I'm stronger then Hinata…I am. My father is an honorable man. He is noble and strong…he is not stupid. Why does he have to do things for Hinata's father! That's not fair! It's not fair! Why do they know Hinata, but now me! Hinata is…weak. I always protect her. I am stronger! Everyday, Neji had been thinking those thoughts. He finally came to one conclusion which he thought was reasonable. I hate Hinata Hyuuga…

:X:X:X:X:X:X

The next day, Neji went out to get some food. He didn't seem to care about the main house anymore. All he knew now about them was that they were cruel…and unfair.

Suddenly he heard a loud shriek. Neji knew it could only be one thing. Hinata.

Hinata covered herself helplessly in a blanket. "Ah!"

"Didn't I tell you that you didn't deserve to live?" said that same boy. He threw a rock at her and it hit her in the arm.

Neji watched in horror as his cousin got beat up. But he couldn't do anything…he hated her. Neji clenched his fists. I hate her…so I can't help her…I can't… Neji pushed himself out of the scene. He walked away from the fight. Besides…it's her fault…right? It's her fault that she's not strong enough…right…? Yes…it's her fault. Suddenly, Neji found himself crying once more. He quickly wiped his tears away. I shouldn't be crying…I'm strong. Stop crying! Neji forced himself to stop crying…but once more, that awful feeling was in his gut again.

That night, Hinata came home crying and blood was everywhere. Her father was scared and worried at her and scolded her. "Don't go out by yourself ever again!"

Hinata nodded and wiped her tears. "Y-Yes f-father…"

"Now, I will have people shower you and clean you up. It'll be alright…I promise."

Hinata nodded. As she walked to the showering houses, escorted by a woman, she passed Neji. He didn't talk to her; didn't even look at her. Hinata tried not to look at him too, but she couldn't. In her mind, she was saying, "Neji-niisan…are you alright?" but of course, Neji wasn't able to hear her.

Hinata decided to leave Neji alone. Something was wrong with him, but she couldn't do anything. She sighed and continued to walk to the showering houses

Neji went to his house and sat down on the ground. He leaned on the front door and felt like one thing…he felt dead. Visions of Hinata all bloody kept appearing in his mind but he forced them out. He forced himself to remember one thing…he hated Hinata Hyuuga.

A/N: Okay. In the next chapters, it will show more about everyone else in it like Naruto and everyone else. Well, this chapter wasn't really good but I still hope you lasted through it. Heh, see you in the next chappie!