I, honestly, hate author's notes at the beginning of stories, but this is actually very important.
For those who are reading this for the first time...this is a VERY VERY old fic, and I apologize
to those who have read this before...I have put you through some horribly crazy things. Taking
down the original story, only to replace it with a revamp that I never got around to finishing.
So this is the original story again with as few changes as possible, mostly rewording and
grammar changes. Again, this is a VERY old fic, I wrote it BEFORE Shippuden even aired it's
first episode. Due to that, I felt that I did need to change a few things from the original
to keep it as consistent with canon as a NejiHina fic can.
So with embarrassment, I present to you, my second fic that I had ever written.
First time readers, I apologize for the terribleness of this writing, but I hope you
can enjoy it regardless. And to those who liked reading this long ago, I hope you
enjoy this once again, and I hope that this can make up for what I had put all of
you through. If you find a lot of mistakes, please shoot me a polite reminder and
I will come back to re-edit this. Thank you for you time reading this note. And
without further ado...
Neji, exhausted from the mission he just returned from, walked slowly to his room too tired to move very quickly. On his way there however, he encountered a familiar scene, one that always brought him peace. He stopped walking and watched a young woman kneeling in the garden surrounded by flowers with her eyes closed. She had dark blue hair reaching to the middle of her back, dressed in a simple kimono with her hands folded in her lap. Hinata had grown into a beautiful young woman, just as he expected. Neji continued on his way, thinking of the past.
He had meant it when he told his father that he thought Hinata was cute and even when his father told him that it was his duty to protect Hinata, he didn't mind. He had grown fond of his little cousin; she was sweet, kind, and gentle. She smiled and took pleasure in the simplest things...and he loved making her smile. He didn't mind that it was his duty to protect her because he already wanted to do that, he already wanted to make sure that his Hinata would always be safe. Safe and happy and smiling, unfortunately that was the last day he had felt that way for the next several years. It seemed that the world wanted to hate her, not love her and with the death of his father he immediately complied.
Instead of seeing the goodness in her like he used to he only saw what she was lacking, only saw weakness. He was consumed with grief and hatred with no more room for love in his heart. For years he stayed that way, thinking that way, living that way until his fight with Hinata and Naruto during their first Chuunin exams. Hinata had shown him that deep down it wasn't her he hated for so many years, showing him what a fool he was for thinking that way. Naruto had shown him that fate and destiny are no predetermined, but are shaped in the present. Ever since then, he had tried to make up those lost years to Hinata but he had been living so long a certain way that he found it difficult to change. Though on the inside he changed it was difficult to show her, to tell her.
He had just finished bathing when he heard that knock at his door. He quickly put on a yukata and opened his door to face the woman he was thinking about. Hinata lifted her head when the door opened and when she saw Neji before her she smiled brightly and launch herself into his arms.
"Neji-niisan you're back!" She said as she hugged him. He had been gone on a long term mission for months, and she had missed him. He stood there, allowing her to embrace him. She slowly let him go and gently blushed. "I'm sorry, it's just...you were gone for so long. How was your mission?"
"It went well, how have things been here?" He asked her as he went back to his dresser to brush his hair. She followed him and took a lock of his hair into her hand.
"Do you mind?" She asked. He handed her the brush while he sat with his back to her on his bed. As she brushed his long hair for him she told him of the thing going on in Konaha while he was away.
"And...and I've decided...t-to tell N-Naruto-kun how I f-feel." She said with a blush. She had managed to get rid of her stuttering for the most part over the years, but when it came to Naruto it all came back again. Neji scowled, though he and Naruto were friends, he didn't like the idea of him and Hinata together. He turned to her.
"He is not a good choice Hinata-sama, you should choose someone else." He told her, his face stoic like always. Hinata looked at Neji with slight sadness in her eyes, disappointed that he was not going to support her decision.
"Who would you have me like Neji-niisan?" He remained silent, he couldn't think of a single man who was worthy enough to be with her. He didn't approve of her crush on Naruto, but if it made her happy then he could deal with it.
"He better not make you cry, or else I'll make his suffer." He told her and her face lit up.
"Thank you Neji-niisan." Just then a servant knocked on his door.
"Neji-san, Hiashi-sama wants to see you right away." They told him, he acknowledged quickly and looked back at Hinata as she started to get up to leave.
"Tell me all about your mission, what you can, when Otou-san finishes speaking with you." She said walking out of his room.
Minutes later Neji was kneeling with his head down in front of the leader of the Hyuuga clan, wondering what he wanted now. Though he knew that his uncle was trying to make up for lost time with him, he didn't like the way he treated Hinata.
"Neji, you have become very strong over the years and have become an asset to our clan, more so than Hinata." Neji resisted the urge to clench his fists, "Though she has grown stronger over the years as well it is not enough to lead our clan. The council and I have decided it was time for her to get married."
Neji's mind went numb, Hinata getting married? Why was he being told this? To notify him that his role, as Hinata's protector, is no longer needed? That she was to receive another one?
"Who is Hinata-sama to marry?" Neji couldn't stop himself from asking the impertinent question.
"The council and I do not trust other powerful clans, they would abuse the Byakugan. So we had decided that it is best for Hinata to marry another Hyuuga." Hiashi told him, Neji clenched his jaws. So Hinata was to marry within the family, most likely a council member. He cringed at the thought, they were all older men who would destroy Hinata for a chance to have control of the Hyuuga clan.
"Which council member is to have Hinata-sama?" Neji found himself asking, though he didn't want to know the answer. Hiashi stared hard at him.
"She is not to marry a council member. Neji...you are to marry my daughter." Neji's heart stopped for a minute, he was to marry Hinata?! No, it couldn't be! Hinata's heart would be crushed! Though he supposed it might be slightly better than marrying her off to someone she didn't know, she would be getting him instead of her beloved Naruto. He suspected all along that her dream of being with Naruto could never be, but he didn't want to be the one to hurt her, he didn't want to be the cause of her pain...but he was not allowed to refuse.
"I am honored that you have chosen me Hiashi-sama, though I do not deserve it." He said without emotion.
"Hmph." It was the only thing Neji heard in response, but he knew a dismissal when he heard one.
"Bring my daughter to me." Hiashi ordered before Neji left the room, he nodded before he closed the door.
Neji found her walking in the garden again, he didn't want to do this to her. Over the years she had become special to him, he would teach her how to improve her fighting techniques and she had taught him how to enjoy life. He wished that he had the power to take away the pain she would be feeling soon, but unfortunately he didn't.
"Hinata-sama." He said to catch her attention, she turned her head and smiled at him.
"Neji-niisan, so are you going to tell me what happened on your mission?" She asked him with a smile. He shook his head.
"Hiashi-sama wants to see you." He told her. Her face fell, she never liked being summoned to her father's office, she always ended up crying. She nodded and followed Neji, dreading this surprise meeting with her father.
"Hinata-sama..." Neji whispered softly to her before opening the door, "I'm sorry." With his back still to her he opened the door. She was confused by what he said but refrained from saying anything and walked into the room. He closed the door behind her and left.
To those who liked the two chapters of the revamp...I doubt I'll ever finish it, though re-reading it again made me wish I finished it, I will post that as another story at a different time.