Title: Bridge

Fandom: Naruto

Pairing: Neji centric; Neji/Hinata

Rating: G

Word Count: 378

Summary/Description: There is a bridge leading to Hinata, and today, Neji takes the first step.

Warnings/Spoilers: None of either.

A/N: Okay, I'm not too sure if I have all the little intricacies of this relationship down (like how Neji really feels towards her, etc.), but I tried, and it came out okay, I guess, despite the fact that it's rather foreign to me. It's sorta like introspection, which I'm not overly good at. Oh, and as a side note, I was very, very excited when I found out that cousinship was a word.

Dedication: For Sintari-san. :-)

Disclaimer: I was looking at my birth certificate the other day. Funny, it didn't say Kishimoto Masashi.

There is a bridge leading to her, and it daunts him more than any battle, any opponent ever could.

It was erected over a turbulent sea; their cousinship. Taboo is a constricting mass of vines, curling and twisting, trapping and tripping with nary but a flick of its treacherous length. Feelings that were at first masked by hatred, disdain and jealousy soon lost their tenure, giving way to admiration, respect, and something else, some feeling that he could not recognise, could not put a name to; it clenched his heart in such an unfamiliar way. Soon, Neji found himself not very much caring about the familial ties that bound them; wanting, on some deep level that he could not admit to himself, to create new ones.

The bridge spans a formidable distance, a representation of the miles between them. Years of aloofness and forced distance has caused a wide rift between them and he wonders if he shall ever get the chance to feel close to her; this extraordinary girl who has surprised everyone with her internal strength. Sometimes, Hinata baffles him; he doesn't expect that he shall ever understand her. Her quiet fortitude, her near deference to him even though she is his superior, her all-encompassing kindness. The indigo-haired girl is complex, and he may never comprehend her, but maybe… maybe one day he can get closer to her.

The bridge is an old, rickety one; it creaks and squirms, the boards are soft and rotten. The problems that can and will crop up are numerous. Hiashi-sama (he would never allow it), Naruto (was Hinata truly in love with him?), the village in general (rumour and gossip would abound). Hyuuga Neji, however, can be called many things, and cowardly is not counted among them. Mere technicalities, such as the reactions of others, such as delving deeper for the truth, such as slipping past tight guards, have no chance of deterring him. Not when he is this resolute.

For when it comes down to it, no raging waters, no lengthy distances, no fear of death can counteract the spell that his younger cousin has unwittingly cast on him; baffling, yet enlightening; binding, yet liberating.

There is a bridge leading to Hinata, and today, Neji takes the first step.

A/N: Review!