Disclaimer: Little Hana-Chan and Rena the pirate jedi wizard prove to be the only reason for putting up my disclaimer, but they make it worth it =) so remember kiddies, I am not Kishimoto, and never will be, so don't EVER assume I own Naruto.
Sasuke: You lost a reviewer over the last chapter.
Me: I know…sucks, right?"
Sasuke: Not really. I would leave too, if I could.
Sasuke: That is a very obscene gesture, not appropriate for a lady.
Hinata sighed dreamily. The soft, warm wind which flowed, through the valley floor, gently folded her short hair about her face, and puffed her flowing skirt about her legs like whipped cream. The sun was warm, and the air was saturated with the scent of the wild flours, which bloomed in mass quantities around her. Hinata closed her eyes, inhaled their scent like a baby would its first breath, and opened her pale eyes once more.
This place was love. Hinata had never felt so at peace, so happy, and so content. There was nothing to worry about, no pain, hatred, or fear. Only love existed. Hinata turned around to the woman standing behind her, and gave her a sweet smile.
The woman had long, blue-ish black hair, just like Hinata's. Her eyes were the same lavender, and her figure just as curvy. The flowing white dress she worse seemed to glow in the sun, which Hinata assumed was pointed directly at this angel like a spot light.
"I like this place, Mom."
"I do too, Hinata." The woman replied, walking up to her daughter, taking her hand, and guiding her toward the mountains in the near distance.
Hinata followed, to over flowed with love to even wonder why they were moving. This spot seemed so perfect, it seemed a waste to leave it.
"I've been watching you for a long time, my daughter."
Hinata beamed. "Really? I had missed you so much."
The woman nodded. "I know. I felt so sorry for you when your father sent you away, I could hardly believe he was the same man who doted on you as a baby."
Hinata tried to remember her father, and though her life was still perfectly etched into her memory, it seemed hazy, like a dream. This new place was so much more vivid than life had ever been, it had become hard to remember such muddled times. "He wasn't the same after you died." Hinata replied casually, no longer able to feel any bitterness towards her father. In this new state, she seemed to understand him, and forgive him, perfectly.
"Hizashi said the same thing." The angel laughed, continuing to guide Hinata by the hand closer to the mountain's edge.
Hinata's spirits perked even higher. "Hizashi-san? Is he here?" The idea of seeing her Uncle again, not in bloodied pain, but in paradise, seemed like the greatest idea in the world.
Hinata's mother nodded. "He is, and he misses you very much."
"Can I see him? Is that where we are going?"
The woman laughed softly, almost sadly. "I am afraid not. You cannot see anyone from this side, not yet anyways."
Hinata frowned, attempting to figure out why. "When can I?"
"When you die an old woman, warm in your lovers embrace." The woman said, staring off fondly into the distance, recalling her own peaceful death.
"But I died already, Mother." Hinata replied, slowly becoming aware of the fact that the flowers, along with their intoxicating love scent, were fading away.
"A little, my darling daughter, but not completely. You can't see anyone who has died until you are ready to be among us."
This was all suddenly confusing. Hinata furrowed her brow, trying to make sense of concepts that shouldn't matter, but suddenly did. "Why can I see you, then?" Hinata said, longing to be back in the warm meadow, instead of near the cold, rocky mountain.
"Because," The woman said, finally stopping right where the base of the high cliff began, "I am your guardian spirit."
Hinata blinked, realizing that things were becoming much more fuzzy. "My…what?" She asked.
The angel in white placed a warm hand on Hinata's shoulder, and sighed heavily. She then released her grip, and took a step back, away from Hinata. "Hinata, you have a gift that few have ever possessed." She began, her eyes darting back and forth as she tried to figure out the words to convey this message. "You are able to use us, the spirits of you ancestors, when ever you need us. When you need strength, you will use the strongest. When you need to heal someone, the most talented healers in our family's history will join together in your palm. When you need life, we have an abundance of spiritual energy to grant it to you." The woman stopped, but smiled as she found the perfect words to convey this power. "We will always be here to help you."
Hinata shivered, and began to re-call her life more vividly than before. She remembered Neji explaining something about a power that made her more powerful than she had originally thought. Suddenly, everything felt very real, and cold.
"I have to go back?" Hinata asked her Mother. Though the angel was becoming as hazy as life had been only moments before. Pain's face suddenly flashed before Hinata's eyes, and the memory of those she loved in trouble resurfaced. Hinata then thought of Naruto. Hinata felt ashamed at how quickly she had forgotten him. She wondered how it was even possible to not remember the boy, even if for only a moment. Paradise suddenly seemed awfully lonely without his goofy, smiling face. How could she laugh if he wasn't there to make a joke? How could she truly feel the love of that field without the first love of her life? What was worse, was that he was in danger because of her. Hinata couldn't exist in this slice of perfection knowing that one of the people who mattered most to her was in danger. Her face contorted into determination. "I have to go back." Hinata said, only this time much more firmly.
Hinata looked at the cliff, and saw the Kyuubi palace at the top. She realized the base of the mountainside that her mother had led her to was the cliff she had been tossed down, and that her body was laying beside it, as Head Priest Sasuke screamed for her not to die. Hinata had never seen such raw emotion from almost anyone, much less the stoic Head Priest.
"You should thank this boy deeply when you return, my lovely Hinata." Hinata looked at her mother, whose form was barely there anymore. "You can't just go back with our help alone. Even as a baby, you only came back because my tears splashed your face. Now his will bring you back as well."
Hinata stared long and hard at the fading figure, her eyes locked on the delicate eyes and coy smile plastered on her beautiful mother's face. "I love you, Mom." She whispered.
The coy smile broke into a wide one. "I love you too, Hinata. Tell your father and sister I miss them, ok?"
Hinata nodded, smiling. Everything suddenly became blurry to the point that nothing was distinguishable, and then everything went dark.
"Please, Hinata!" Sasuke screamed, "Please! I don't care if you love Naruto! I don't care if you hate me and never look at me again! I don't care! Just live! I need you to be alive! Please…Hinata!"
Sasuke's screams echoed through canyon as his hot tears trickled across Hinata's injured chest, neck, and delicate face. "I love you…" He whispered, into her ear.
Then he heard something that made his heart stop; Hinata coughed. Sasuke jumped away from her body, the blood draining from his face. "Hi…Hinata?" He said, almost unwilling to believe his childish tantrum could have worked. She coughed again, and he saw her eyes open and dart around wildly.
"Mo…." She whispered, her voice hoarse.
"Hinata!" Sasuke said, returning to her side and helping her to sit up. "You…you're alive?!" It seemed too good to be true. "Stay here, I'm going to get help." Sasuke said, beginning to move away, but was stopped.
Hinata grasped his arm firmly, and smiled. "I'm alright, really." She pointed to the spot that had, moments ago, been a bloody mess. Though her clothes were still tattered and bloodied, the spot itself was as pristine as it had ever been. "I'm fine."
The two stood up, and Sasuke continued to inspect her, as though afraid the cut would re-surface at any moment. "How is that possible, Hyuuga?"
"It is…" Hinata thought of how she could possibly explain what had just occurred in her lack of life, but thought better of it. "Complicated." She smiled in thanks at the raven boy in front of her. "In short, your tears revived me."
Sasuke's complexion reddened as the blood rushed to his head from shock and embarrassment. "Don't be an idiot. I don't even know how to cry." He turned away from Hinata, cursing himself mentally. What would have been worse, her knowing I cried, or her dieing? He thought, looking back up at the cliff.
Hinata gazed up as well. "We have to get back. Naruto-kun may be in trouble!" She said, already searching for the best route up.
Sasuke shook his head, grabbing a sturdy rock and climbing it. "It is the rest of the Palace that needs help."
"How so?" Hinata asked, following Sasuke's path.
"He lost control when you went down the cliff."
Hinata's blood ran cold. "How badly?" she asked, continuing to traverse the sheer cliff, but now with even greater hurry.
"The Kyuubi has been released. If we don't stop it properly, they will most likely kill him." Sasuke hesitated, but said, "If he hasn't killed them, already."
Sakura dried the tears staining her face, and lifted Ino up onto her feet. "Does your leg feel ok?"
Ino kicked it gently, and winced. "I'll be fine, just get me out of here."
Sakura looked around anxiously. They were eerily alone in the wide, open, dusty place. The others had either ran for their lives, or pursued the Kyuubi as it fled down yet another corridor. It seemed bent on not only killing the residents who had kept it so well imprisoned, but to destroy the Palace all together. Sakura briefly considered calling to Sasuke, who she assumed was still in that canyon, finding Hinata. No, I can't waste my time. He will be fine, and right now, I need to get Ino to a safe place.
Sakura forced herself to turn away from the opening to the cliff, and instead began walking as fast as she could, supporting a limping Ino, down the hallway she had run up with Hyuuga Neji only a few minutes before. It took time, and patience, the like of which Sakura had almost none. With every creak, rumble, and distant scream, Sakura's heart sank even lower into her chest, until it felt like her stomach was the organ pumping her blood at a highly accelerated rate. She expected the beast to appear at any moment and finish her off.
Ino tried to get the pain in her leg to vanish, or at least to dissipate enough for her to use it. It was useless, though. The more Ino tried, the worse it felt, and Sakura seemed strong enough to support her, at least until they made it out of the Palace in one piece. It was a few minutes before Ino finally saw the large double doors, flapping ever so gently from the breeze blowing them in. Ino looked at Sakura's face, and realized it's hopeful expression matched her own.
Sakura's face suddenly fell as she heard a rumble from behind her, and realized that it was growing in volume, rather than diminishing. "Ino…" Sakura murmured, not to get Ino's attention, but to remind herself of what needed to be done. Sakura scooped the blond up, the same way a groom would a bride, and ran for the exit.
Ino's blue eyes went wide as she stared behind Sakura, down the dark hall way they had just come from. The pounding of a heavy, large figure was coming towards them, and its pace was increasing with their own. "Get as far as you can, Ino." She heard Sakura say. Ino looked at her in a puzzled manner, before suddenly feeling herself hurled out the door. Ino screamed loudly, though involuntarily, as she went air borne out the door, onto the stone entrance outside. The doors shut as soon as Ino landed. She quickly realized that Sakura was still on the other side.
Sasuke and Hinata reached the top ten minutes later, only to find that there was hardly a Palace to return to.
Most of the infrastructure and support beams had been crushed by the Kyuubi's gargantuan form, and fire from the relentless attacks on both ends destroyed even more of what could have been salvageable. There was still a Palace there, but it was all but hollowed out, and filled with the rubble of the crumbled upper floors. The air tasted like plaster and debris, and the smoke from the fire and rubble made it nearly impossible to see ten feet ahead.
Hinata coughed wildly after taking in her first breath of the polluted air from the site, but continued on anyways. She wondered how the Head Priest could look as calm as he did, and wondered even more how it was possible for him not to be coughing out a lung, like she was.
Sasuke walked quickly ahead of Hinata, to keep her from harm's way for one, but also to find Sakura and the other's as quickly as possible. He hadn't thought it could get this out of control, but the state of their once grand home proved that things were apocalyptic at best. Sasuke heard a scream in the distance, and realized he was running to its source before he had even had time to register who it could have been. He could hear Hinata at his heel, trying to keep up with him despite the toll the dust and debris was taking on her lungs.
Hinata didn't care about her lungs, or any other part of her for that matter. She thought of Naruto, and how, wherever he was, what ever form he was in, he needed her. She refused to believe that beautiful, blond, happy boy she had grown to love and adore could cause the damage and chaos she saw before her. Hinata couldn't imagine any normal human that could. She worried for her friends, her cousin, and even of Head Priest Sasuke and Sakura. Everyone's lives needed to be saved, even if Hinata was not quite sure how that could be achieved. I must try…I was given this gift for a reason! I must use it how I see best; to save those I love most! That is my promise!
After what seemed like an eternity, Sasuke finally reached another clearing within the palace walls. The ceiling had caved in all the way to the roof, providing a blinding natural light to display the scene before him. There was the Kyuubi, mighty, evil, and proud; all of the things that Naruto was not. The only one in the clearing with the beast was someone who made Sasuke's heart sink.
Sakura was running from the Kyuubi as fast as she could, but Sasuke already knew that it was a useless get away. The beast bound after her as her pink hair flapped wildly around her frightened face. Her bright, dazzling green eyes closed tightly as, Sasuke could tell, she prepared to be trampled at any moment. "Sakura!" He screamed.
Those eyes flashed open in disbelief as she latched eyes with his. A smile somehow crept over her lips, before remembering what was going on. "Sasuke, run!" She screamed, turning away from the two in the entranceway, in order to get the Kyuubi away from the boy she still had great love for. Sakura's heart sank when she realized the direction she had gone had, due to the rubble, become a dead end. She slowly turned around to face the beast, who snickered at her cruelly.
"No blond friend or Hyuuga spawn to save you this time, little Head Priestess." It growled, his voice echoing against the empty space.
Me: Alright…. If my estimation is correct, there are only 2-3 more chapters of this fic!
Sasuke: How the bleep do you plan to wrap this up in 2-3 chapters?
Me: Easily! I have it all mapped out.
So Everyone, I wanted to have something specific for you to review with. So ask me a question! It can be about anything retaining to Naruto, this fic, characters, any of that.
Care to give some example questions, Sasuke darling?
Sasuke: DON'T…call me that.
Me: Just ask a darn question emo boy.
What is your interpretation of Hinata's mother and all that uselessness?
Me: Well, I always envisioned her being a lot like Hinata, both in appearance and personality. I think she always saw the best in people, but was a bit passive in nature, and didn't like violence. Basically, not very ninja-like. I think that is why when she died, (I assume either in war or child birth of Hanabi) Hiashi became so…bitter to Hinata. I think he loved his wife greatly, and felt that it was her lack of emotional strength (not physical) that caused her to die (even though this is most likely absurd), or as he probably viewed it, give up. So since Hinata is so much like her, he wanted to ensure that this time around, she was strong enough to survive anything, and never give up or fall short.
So it can be like that, or it can be something that has to do with my fic(s), or me (Sasuke: why would anyone want to know about that?) or my theories on Naruto in the future, anything! I'll try to answer as many as I can in the next update.
Until then, peace my loves!