"Forgive me Hinata-sama." He gritted out. She looked up and eyed the other elders and council members. They all slowly bent in half bowing to her, ready to follow where she was going to lead them. After that, there was never a Hyuuga that was branded with the cadged bird seal ever again.
Two months later, the atmosphere in the Hyuuga compound was already very different. There was less tension in the air; everyone seemed more relaxed and less on edge. There were still training lessons and discipline learning, but the Branch family felt as if they were now given the freedom to be happy. Hinata, at the moment, was in the dojo training with Hanabi. Ever since her father's letter Hinata's confidence in her fighting abilities increased tenfold. Though she still wasn't as fast or as strong as her sister, she strategized better, waiting for the best moments to attack.
Hinata was panting heavily, just barely missing an attack from Hanabi, but she had a smile on her face; Hanabi was rapidly getting tired too. Suddenly a servant walked in and interrupted their sparring match.
"Excuse me Hinata-sama, but you have an urgent phone call." Hinata nodded, catching her breath.
"If you can figure out, by the time I come back, how I could have beaten you in two moves, we'll finish training for today." She told Hanabi as she started walking out of the dojo.
"What!? You couldn't have beaten me in two moves! I so had you!" Hanabi yelled. Hinata paused to turn and look back at Hanabi, gave her a small smirk and then continued on her way.
"Damn it! Could she really have beaten me in two moves?" Hanabi wondered, as Hinata went to retrieve her phone call.
"H-Hi-Hinata?" asked a crying woman on the other line.
"Sakura?" Hinata asked, surprised.
"C-can y-yo-you please, c-come to the h-ho-hospital? I n-ne-need you." Sakura asked Hianta.
"Of course, I'll be over in a flash." Hinata told her before hanging up and quickly made her way back to the dojo.
"Hanabi, I have to go to the hospital." Hanabi looked up, surprised.
"Why? What's wrong?" she asked.
"I don't know, but Sakura was in tears when she called to ask me to come over. I'll be back soon. Take over for me." Hinata said quickly before leaving. When she got to the hospital, Sakura ran into her arms, crying hysterically. Hinata held her close, worried about her dear friend.
"Sakura what's wrong? What happened?" Hinata asked her.
"I c-can't l-lose him! I-I don't k-know w-what I'd d-do if I l-lose him." Sakura cried while her body shook with the force of her weeping. Hinata tightened her arms around her and rocked her gently. Minutes later Naruto walked into the hallway. He walked over to them and gently placed his hand on Sakura's shoulder.
"Sakura…I'm sorry, I'm sorry I couldn't protect him." But Sakura just continued crying against Hinata, not even acknowledging he was there.
"Naruto, what happened?" Hinata asked him softly. He, too, looked like he was about to cry; he was so full of guilt.
"Lee and I just got back from a mission. We ran into some problems though. We were both fighting to protect a small village, but we got separated." He paused, not wanting to go on. Hinata saw the pain and guilt in his eyes; she reached up and gently touched his shoulder. Silently asking him to go on.
"He opened up seven celestial gates to fight his opponent. He was in the process of opening the eighth when I was able to come back and help him. I was able to stop him from fully opening the eighth gate, but opening seven took a major toll on his body." He told her.
"A-and th-they d-don't t-th-think they c-can s-sa-save him!" Sakura cried as tears continued streaming down her face. Hinata pulled Sakura's head back down to her shoulder and continued holding and rocking her. But she kept her eyes on Naruto; she was worried about him. She could tell; he thought it was all his fault for the condition Lee was in right now.
Hours later when Sakura finally fell asleep on one of the couches in the waiting room, Hinata made her way over to sit next to Naruto. He had his face buried in his hands when she gently touched his shoulder.
"It's all my fault." He whispered. Hinata felt her eyes tear up; she had never seen him like this before.
"He's dying because of me." He said softly.
"No." Hinata told him fervently while she wrapped her arms about him.
"You saved him. If he pulls through this, it will be because you saved him." She told him urgently, trying to get him to believe it. He stared at her, a tiny spark of hope in his eyes.
"You believe in me that much Hinata?" she caressed his cheek and smiled softly.
"I've always believed in you." she said quietly with a small blush. He gave her a wobbly smile as he allowed her to pull him into her healing embrace.
"Thank you Hinata." He whispered, she just smiled, glad that she could help the man she once loved. Moments later Tsunade came out to them. Hinata went over to gently wake Sakura up. Tsundae looked them over, fatigued.
"We were able to stabilize him, but he's still in critical condition." She told them. Sakura paled and dropped her head, but then looked up when someone gripped her shoulder and was surprised when it was Kakashi she saw. It was like he showed up out of nowhere. Sakura's bottom lip trembled when she realized that he was here to support her.
"Sakura." Tsunade said to get her attention again.
"He might not make it through the night. If he can, he'll be fine. But all odds are against him. I'm sorry." She told her apprentice. Sakura bit her lip and tried to hold back the tears.
"H-he'll make it." She stated aloud.
"But Sakura…" Kakashi started.
"He'll make it!" she yelled before she crumbled in a crying heap. Hinata ran to her and steered her back to the couch. When Sakura was exhausted from her crying and once again fell asleep, Kakashi walked over to Hinata.
"Why don't you go on home Hianta." He told her.
"But…" she looked back at Sakura. Kakashi nodded, then looked out the darkened window.
"Hhmm poor Sakura. Can you imagine what it's like? What if it were Neji?" he wondered aloud. Hinata's eyes widened and she gasped. She froze as those words swarmed though her mind. She suddenly stood up and bolted out the door. Hinata ran all the way back to the compound. As soon as she got there she spotted Hanabi.
"Hanabi, is Neji back from his mission yet?!" Hinata asked quickly, looking panicked. Hanabi frowned as she heard Hinata's shrill voice.
"Well…yeah. He's…" she was cut off as Hinata left her standing there, "…in your room." She finished to herself.
Neji sighed; it's good to be back home. He'd been gone for two weeks on a mission and he just got back. He walked out of the bathroom with just a towel around his waist and drying his hair when Hinata suddenly burst in. He looked up with a smile, but didn't have a chance to say hi because as soon as Hinata spotted him she ran towards him and threw herself into his arms, knocking him back onto their bed.
"Hinata what…" but she didn't allow him to speak as she kissed him hungrily. She wrapped her arms around his neck as her tongue dove into his mouth. Neji wrapped his arms around her as his tongue tangles with hers. As her mouth slowly left his, sucking gently on his bottom lip she moved her hips softly against his, feeling his aroused state.
She kissed his cheeks, the tip of his nose, his eyes, and then burned a hot path down to his neck. There she ran her tongue across his pulse point and sucked gently. Neji's heart was beating quickly, closing his eyes and letting her have her way with him. Hinata ran her hands across his chest and stroked his stomach. Her mouth soon followed her hands and as she was kissing and licking his torso her hands soon relieved him of the towel around his waist. Reaching down, she ran her hand along the length of him and her fingers gently massaged his tip. Neji's breath became labored and sweat began to dot his forehead. Her mouth and tongue got lower and lower. He lifted his head, panting.
"Hinata, you don't…" he was cut off as she took him into her mouth. His head rolled back and moaned, his hands fisted in the sheets. Neji felt as if he couldn't breath when she applied suction while sliding her mouth up and down the length of him. When she added her tongue to the mix he groaned loudly and brought his hands to her head, trying to put more of himself into her hot wet mouth. His body jerked and he felt like he was about to burst when she gently grated her teeth against him. He just couldn't stand it anymore. Neji pulled her up roughly and tore at her clothes while he kissed her with such passion it took her breath away. In a matter of seconds she was naked and under him.
"Hinata I need you." he whispered hotly into her ear before he spread her legs and thrusted himself into her. Hinata gasped with pleasure and wrapped her legs around his waist. The feel of her smooth soft legs around him drove him crazy. He pumped himself into her with sure steady thrusts while Hinata grated her nails along his back and kissed him hotly.
Neji's head was spinning with desire as she rocked her hips strongly against his. When they usually made love, she would respond wonderfully to him, but this time it seemed different. It was as if he somehow unleashed a wild part of her; her responses were wilder, hotter, hungrier. He didn't know what triggered the change, but he certainly wasn't going to complain. Soon their bodies were slick with sweat. Hinata reached up and pulled Neji down to her, bringing her lips close to his ear.
"Neji…faster…deeper, please." She panted, wanting more, needing more. Neji immediately obeyed the temptress in his arms. Their pace quickened as he dove into her faster and deeper. He could feel her legs tighten around his waist.
Hinata soon went up in flames, Neji plunged into her with quick deep thrusts, mimicking and prolonging the orgasm that was taking over her body. Seconds later he deeply thrusted into her one last time as his mind was blind to any other sensation when he released into her. Both felt as if they skyrocketed to the stars and then slowly floated back down to Earth. Limp from their lovemaking, both trying to just catch their breath. Once Neji regained his strength he lifted up, about to remove himself from her, when she stopped him.
"Not yet…please. I love the feel of you in me." She told him with a blush. He smiled down at her and kissed her sweetly as he rolled onto his back taking her with him so that they were still joined. She put her head down on his chest, listening to his heartbeats.
"Well that was the best 'Welcome Home' response I've ever received." He said, making her giggle. She looked up at his smiling face; he loved hearing her laugh. But soon her laughter and smile faded, looking troubled.
"What is it?" he asked, caressing her cheek.
"Oh Neji, I'm so blind! I'm such an idiot!" she cried, burying her head into his chest.
"No you're not." He told her, stroking her hair.
"Yes I am! I…" she paused, "Lee-kun is in the hospital right now." She felt his body stiffen and looked up to see his worried face.
"He opened seven celestial gates. Tsunade-sama doesn't know if he'll make it." She told him softly,
"He will." Neji said.
"He'll pull through. He wouldn't leave his dear Sakura alone." He told her with confidence.
"You should have seen her." Hinata said quietly as tears started to form in her eyes.
"She was so scared and worried at the thought of losing him…And then…and then Kakashi-san asked what if it were you?" she said as a tear rolled down her cheek. Neji just watched her, staying silent, and gently wiping away that stray tear.
"Neji, I'm such a fool. It wasn't until then that I realized how much I love you." she looked up and told him. Neji froze, his hand stilled on her back. She looked at him, his eyes wide with shock. Then his eyes softened as he gently pulled her to him and lightly caressed his lips with his, a bear whisper of a kiss.
"I love you." he whispered before claiming her mouth with his own. Hinata's heart leapt with joy as she kissed him back with all the love in her heart.
"Do you know how long I've waited to hear those words from you?" he asked her when he pulled back.
"How long?" she asked while caressing his cheek. Neji turned his head to place a kiss in her palm.
"Years." She smiled, then suddenly gasped and sat up.
"I almost forgot!" she cried, while Neji propped himself up on his elbows.
"What?" she smiled and pushed him back down.
"It's a surprise." She said mischievously. Neji smiled back as he reached up to fondle her breasts.
"You're just full of surprises today." He said with a smirk. But she swatted his hands away.
"Not yet." She said; he frowned.
"Now close your eyes." She told him. He lifted a questioning brow.
"Close your eyes." She gently ordered him with a smile. He sighed then obeyed her. Hinata smiled as she gathered her chakra and made a rapid series of hand signals, performing a complicated jutsu. Then he felt her lightly touch his forehead, he frowned when a warmth spread across his forehead, but kept his eyes closed. Moments later the warmth faded.
"Can I open my eyes now?" he asked impatiently.
"Yes." She said with a bright smile. He opened his eyes to see her looking excited.
"What?" he asked her with slight annoyance. He hated being in the dark.
"Wait right here." Hinata told him before she got off of him and rushed to the bathroom, not bothering to put some clothes on. He sat up waiting for her; seconds later she ran back and sat next to him.
"Here." She said holding out a hand mirror. He just looked at her, not taking the mirror.
"Would you look?!" she asked him excitedly. Neji sighed taking the mirror.
"I don't know what you want me to…see." He said, his eyes suddenly widening. He didn't look any different, but then he suddenly noticed that his forehead was clear. The seal was gone! He quickly turned his head to see Hinata smiling widely and giggling.
"I…I was going through some old scrolls talking about the seal. It's origin, how to mark someone, how it worked, everything about it. Through those, I was able to figure out a jutsu to remove it." She told him while she took the mirror from him and placed it on the table beside their bed. When she turned back to him she found him still starring at her like she had three heads. It wasn't exactly the response she was expecting; she started to fidget.
"I…I thought you would like it." She said quietly, lowering her head. The next thing she knew she was on her back with Neji on top of her, holding her tightly and kissing her deeply. When he finally lifted his lips from hers, she smiled.
"You're welcome." She said on a sigh. He chuckled while he proceeded to show her how thankful he was.
10 years later:
Just like Neji said, Lee was able to make a full recovery, claiming that he would never leave his precious Sakura. They eventually ended up having three children; all of who, thankfully, did not inherit their father's eyebrows.
Ino and Choji eventually got married, she is currently pregnant with their second child. Sakura still teases Ino saying that at eight months pregnant; she looks just like her husband.
Sasuke is currently in the market for a wife to help his restore his clan. Only to find that all the women he would have chosen were already married. At a lost for what to do, he went over to the Hyuuga compound and proposed a marriage contract between Hanabi and himself. Unfortunately all he got was a quick punch to the face from Hanabi as she said that her heart already belonged to someone else.
Naruto has been Hokage for three years now, slowly gaining respect from all the villagers. He is now making it his personal mission to find Sasuke a wife, since Sasuke seems to have trouble finding one.
Meanwhile Hinata was currently in the garden admiring the flowers and gently stroking her large pregnant belly, while rocking her sleeping one year old son, Keitaro, in her arms. She smiled as she watched her eldest son, Hizashi who was nine, teaching his younger seven year old twin siblings, Michiko and Makoto, the new ninja techniques he's recently learned. She turned when she heard someone walking towards her, and smiled as she saw Neji carrying their five year old son, Sho, and their three year old daughter, Tamiko.
He put them down so they could go play, then turned to Hinata; his wife, his beloved, his angel. He kissed her gently then moved to hold her from behind. She sighed as she leaned back against him.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked her moments later. She snuggled closer to him, a serene smile gracing her lips.
"When I first fell in love with you." she said.
"Oh? And when was that?" he asked her while he kissed her temple and stroked her stomach. She giggled as she remembered the time.
"It was when I told you my favorite flowers were daisies and you were having such a difficult time telling me that I was just like them." He chuckled, remembering that time too. A time when he had difficulty expressing his feelings to her, he had no such troubles now however.
"I can remember the first time I fell in love with you too." He said, kissing her neck softly.
"Hhmmm really?" Hinata asked, closing her eyes and tilting her head to give him better access. Neji chuckled at her response, but inside he felt humbled. That after all this time, after so many kids, she would still respond to his touch the same way she did ten years ago. Will I ever get enough of this woman?
"Yes." He said trailing kisses up her neck to her cheek, where he stopped to look at her.
"It was fourteen years ago, on the anniversary of my father's death." Hinata covered his hand with hers as she twisted to look at him. She knew that it was always a sad day for him, even now.
"I was in the woods, sitting in a tree, alone. You were taking a break from training and went to admire the wild flowers. You picked a few and then tied them together before walking over to the tree I was in. You placed them on the ground and looked up at me…and smiled." Neji paused to kiss her smiling lips.
"Your smile seemed to fill my dark day with light. It was your smile. Your bright beautiful smile."
AN: Oh my gosh! I can't believe it's over! This is the first story I've ever written that I actually finished! YAY! It was all thanks to you, my lovely wonderful awesome reviewers! You all make me SO happy! I hope you thoroughly enjoyed my story. And here are some "clear ups" in case anyone got confused.
I honestly don't know WHO Hanabi is in love with, I was going to put Konahamaru, but since I didn't mention him in my story, I left it open. So pair her up with whomever you want to pair her up with.
Neji and Hinata have 7 children in 10 years. In order they are: Hizashi (9 yrs), Michiko and Makoto (7 yrs, twins), Sho (5 yrs), Tamiko (3 yrs), Keitaro (1 yr), and Yuriko (isn't born yet, didn't mention her name in story). And don't worry about poor Hinata, Yuriko is the last, no more children after that. I know I know, I was crazy to give her SEVEN kids, but….but…I don't know that's what I did.