Neji, exhausted from the mission he just retuned 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 her mid back, dressed in a simple blue kimono, with her hands folded in her lap. Eighteen year old 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 that he felt that way. Afterwards, it seemed that the world wanted him 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 use 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. In his fight with Hinata, she had shown him that deep down it wasn't her he hated for so many years, showing what a fool he was for thinking that way. And in his fight with Naruto, he had shown him that fate and destiny are not 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 the way he had, 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 the knock at his door. He quickly put on a robe and opened his door to face the woman he was thinking about. Hinata lifted her head when the door opened, 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 three months, 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 things going on in Konaha while he was gone.
"And…and I've decided t-to tell N-Naruto 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 him 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 expressionless, like always. Hinata looked at Neji with slight sadness in her eyes, saddened that he was not going to support her decision.
"Who would you have me like Neji-niisan?" He remained silent, for he could not 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 shall make him suffer." He told her. 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 nodded. He looked back at Hinata as she started walking to the door.
"Tell me all about your mission once you finish talking with Tou-san." She said walking out of his room.
Minutes later Neji was kneeling with his head down in front of the head 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 the Hyuuga clan, more so than Hinata." Neji resisted the urge to clench his fists, "Though she has growth stronger over the years as well it is not enough to be the head of this clan. The council and I have decided it was time she was to get married." Hiashi continued. Neji's mind went numb, Hinata getting married? Why is he telling me this? To tell me that my role as Hinata's protector is no longer needed? That she was to get another one?
"Who is Hinata-sama to marry?" Neji couldn't help but ask.
"The council and I do no 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 is to marry within the family. Most likely to a council member, he cringed at that 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 asked, though he didn't want to know the answer. Hiashi stared hard at Neji.
"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 it was better than marrying her off to someone she didn't know, she would be getting him, instead of her beloved Naruto. Though he knew all along that her and Naruto could never be, he didn't want to be the one to hurt her, he didn't want to be the cause of her pain, but he could not refuse.
"I am honored that you have chosen me Hiashi-sama, though I do not deserve it." He said with no emotion.
"Hmph." Was the only thing Neji heard, but understood that it was a dismissal. "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 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 smile at him,
"Neji-niisan, so are you going tell me what happened on your mission?" she asked. He shook his head.
"Hiashi-sama wants to see you." he said. Her face fell, she never liked talking to her father, she always ended up crying. She nodded and followed Neji, dreading this surprise meeting with her father. But before Neji opened the door, he said softly "Hinata-sama, I'm sorry." With his back still to her. He opened the door for her, 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.
AN: Ok what does everyone this of this new story of mine? It's kinda rushed since I just wrote it, I'm not quite sure about this story, I don't really think I did that well on it, but I really wanted to write one about Neji and Hinata. But if you guys like it, I'll keep writing. Please no flames (can't handle those, I'd prolly cry), but I'm always open to suggestions. I know I've tons of room for improvement, so review for me and tell me what you think, k? Thanks.