FORCED

CHAPTER 14 : THE DAYS SPENT AS PATIENT.

The next day, Hinata woke up to find herself alone in the room. She stood up slowly and washed her face. She intended to go out for a walk in the garden. She knew Neji and her father would never allow her to walk around in this kind of condition. Though Hinata walked slowly, she was already sweating. " Seemed like I need more rest before doing this..," Hinata grunted to herself. " It's good to know you realized that Hinata…," a voice from behind interrupted. Hinata turned around quickly. Somehow she lost her balance and fell to the ground.

Before her body hit the ground, she saw a shadow ran swiftly to her side. When she opened her eyes, she saw Neji looking at her. Neji had caught her before she fell to the ground. " Neji…" " You know you should rest, Hinata…." Neji helped Hinata got back on her feet. " I was bored. So I intended to have a walk in the garden. Who knows I'm too weak to even walk…," Hinata said sadly. Neji shook his head slowly. He knew that the garden is a very important to Hinata and that she missed it. " We'll go to the garden but after we got there, you must sit on the bench." Hinata looked at Neji in disbelief. After a while, a bright smile formed on her face. Hinata nodded vigorously. They started walking towards the garden.

When the reached the garden, Hinata was out of breath. Neji looked at her in concern and keep asking about how she felt. They sat on a beach in the garden. Hinata tried to catch up with her breath as she sat on the bench. Neji watched her as she regained her strength. After a few minutes, Hinata began to breath normally. " How do you feel," Neji asked. Hinata nodded her head, " I'm fine.. Thanks…" Neji nodded. Hinata looked at the flowers in front her. " I never get to come here often but this garden is beautiful..," Neji commented.

Hinata didn't know why but she felt very proud of herself. " It's my garden, Neji..," Hinata announced proudly. " I know. I always see you taking care of it.." Hinata was surprised. " See me? I haven't come here for quite some time…" There was a tiny red spots on Neji's cheek. " I.. mean.. it was long time.. no.. I always watch.. umm.. you know…" Hinata didn't expect to see the Neji in front of her now. He was blushing, lost his words and his calmness. At last, Hinata just laughed. ' It's good to see him showing his feeling… feels like he's opening up to me…' Neji was embarrassed but he managed to smile.

From behind the bushes, Hanabi was watching them. She was on her way to meet Hiashi but she stopped when she heard someone laughing. She went into the garden and saw Neji and Hinata were sitting together on the bench, talking, smiling and laughing with each other. Her heart stopped and anger was about to rise but when the image of Hinata and Neji begging for her came to her mind, she managed to calm down. Hanabi left the garden with a smile but yet her heart was tearing inside.

When the weather got hotter, Neji and Hinata went inside the hut by the garden. Neji insisted that Hinata should rest so he was the one who made tea for both of them. Hinata took a sip of the tea that Neji made. " It's delicious…," Hinata commented. " It's your tea leaves.. I only add hot water.," Neji replied and sipped the tea. They sat in silence. Hinata suddenly stood up and when to one of the shelves in the hut. Neji watched her as she came back to the table, holding a small bottle of ointment. She placed it on the middle of the table.

" What's that," Neji asked curiously. " You know that I always make ointments from the herbs I grown.." Neji nodded. " I made this ointment. It's for cut and bruises. I noticed you got some cuts and bruises from yesterday's attack so I want to give it to you…" Hinta pushed the bottle slowly towards Neji. Neji took the ointment, brushing his hand against Hinata's in the process. They quickly pulled their hands back. Neji took the ointment and thanked Hinata. " What about your? You too got some bruises and cuts..," Neji asked and pointed to Hinata's hand. Hinata smiled, " I already have one in my room. Don't worry.." Neji nodded. They spent the afternoon drinking tea and chatting but most of the time, they sat in silence and just feeling comfortable with each other company.