Disclaimer: Can I be Captain Obvious? Because, then I'll tell you that I do not own these characters nor do I make profit from them.
Hyuuga Hinata always had cold hands. She supposed that it had to do with her blood circulation. That poor blood circulation probably had something to do with her being abysmal at Jyuuken. Even when the weather was hot or humid, her hands would be cool and damp.
It wasn't something that necessarily bothered her but she always wondered if someone were to hold her hand, they'd be shocked by its temperature. As if they were to hold a dead person's hands. Who'd have thought that shy, smiling Hinata would have morbid thoughts?
She'd notice of course, when she'd apply balms and creams to various cuts and bruises, how her patients would flinch. It was something she'd apologize for and at first had hurt her feelings, but it had been long since ignored by her now. But one time, her patient had not flinched but said: " Your hands are soothing."
And her patient's lean muscled body was hot and felt as if it would burn her. She had stuttered herself silly before she had silenced herself and began to wrap his arm and abdomen with bandages. He remained stoic as she tightened the bandages and when she had finished, he remained on the stool, unmoving and she kneeling beside him. Curiosity got the better of her, and uncertain about his reaction; she gently removed the hitai-ate and caressed his curse. His eyes closed, mesmerized by the soft cool touches to his forehead.
"Does it?" he asked, his powerful bright eyes opening to stare into her own.
"...When I touch it," she whispered, silenced by his stare. Those very eyes of which she had once been frightened off. Those very eyes of which she had once made to avoid at all costs.
Her thin pale fingers moved from the curse, and trailed softly down his eyes, and his straight nose and his sharply shaped lips. His face was all angles and she knew hers was all curves and softness. And he grabbed her then, his large hands holding onto her own, and he kissed her. Softly, his hot lips searing an imprint into her own. She couldn't breathe and she felt as if her heart had stopped but how could it have when her ears pounded with the sound of her own heartbeat and what she thought to be another. Another heartbeat she could hear dimly beating in sync with her own.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity in that quiet room, he had abruptly stood. Hinata jumped up, her face looking no doubt as if it was glowing red.
"That was improper of me, Hinata-sama. I'm sorry. Thank you for the medicine. I'll be on my way."
"No. It was improper of me. Please, I've told you to drop the honorific..."
They stumbled through words and both she and Neji were really not paying any attention to what each other said but were thinking, trying to remember what that kiss had been like.
Finally he turned, his face slightly flustered and he left, leaving an equally flustered Hinata, still standing with her fingers to her lips and his hitai-ate held in her other hand.
The following days, he would avert his eyes when she looked at him, walk out of the room when she entered, and she would avert her gaze when he caught her and begin to stutter again in his presence and it felt as if they danced around each other, swirling around each other, hesitating to make contact at all. She hoped that no one noticed, he prayed that no one would notice. He swore that he felt himself die a little inside of him when he didn't meet her eyes and when he'd enter a room and smell that intoxicating essence that was undoubtedly her. That fresh sweet essence that was green tea and cinnamon and balms and creams. Sometimes he'd find himself losing concentration when training with her father, and Hiashi would admonish him, but Neji wouldn't care, he only waited for that moment. That moment he could perhaps catch a glimpse of the quiet woman who placed the tray of tea on the floorboards for them. And even afterwards, when they had paused to take tea and Hiashi had not asked Hinata to join them, Neji would think again of how she had been so quiet, nearly invisible, when she kneeled to place the tray of tea on the floor. Her long black hair and her plain kimono, and her downcast eyes and her lips. Her lips.
Hinata was in her room when he came to her. His hair was untied, and it shocked her to see his clothes covered in blood.
"Shh…I'm alright. Just need some of your salves."
Neji stood hunched in the doorway, his arm leaning against the threshold.
"Quickly, come in," she had said, her voice loud with worry. He slid the door shut before setting himself down on the stool next to the desk and looking out of the window. It was night and he realised that it was a full moon. The moonlight beamed straight into Hinata's room and he realised her attachment to it. It was further away from the other bedroom quarters. In fact, it was on the other side of the Hyuuga compound and Neji saw that it was her refuge from everyone and everything with only the moon at night to keep her company.
"I need you to…t-take off your clothes. I-I mean, just the t-top half."
He obliged willingly, wincing as he pulled off his jacket and simple top. She turned away, and began to rummage through her cupboards and shelves.
He gazed at her back, his heart content in being comfortable with her again.
"I thought you were just training with Lee-san and Ten Ten-chan?"
" They were a bit rough with me."
"Why didn't you use your Kaiten?"
"It's an unfair advantage." Neji smirked.
"They shouldn't have made you bled."
"I asked them too," Neji said quietly.
Hinata paused and turned around, jars and bandages in her hands.
"Why would you ever ask them to do that?"
"I wanted to have a reason to speak to you again," Neji whispered as Hinata kneeled before him again and began to unbind the bandages on his arms.
She was silent as she cleaned the cuts and applied the salves. Neji waited patiently for her to answer. Or maybe he didn't need to hear it.
After bandaging, she moved on to his chest. Neji's eyebrows furrowed as he looked down upon Hinata's hair.
"It's blue in the moonlight."
She looked up at him, her white eyes staring into what Neji felt were the depths of his very soul. He noticed how the corners of her mouth drooped down sadly, how her white porcelain skin seemed to glow in the moonlight and her long dark eyelashes that graced her doe-like eyes.
"This wound here is particularly deep." She finally breathed out, and she finished binding his chest and back with the last of the bandages.
"Be careful. That wound might bleed again."
She picked herself up and moved back to sit on her bed. She gazed out at the moon, her hands folded neatly in her lap and her beauty struck Neji like a punch to his stomach. At least, that's what Neji related the feeling he felt at that moment to.
"I keep thinking about you."
Hinata turned abruptly to look at him.
"I keep thinking of your cool touch. I dream about it."
"Neji…you said it yourself. It is improper of you. They wouldn't be happy."
There was no need to confirm who the 'they' were.
"Didn't you…haven't you felt the same?" Neji asked, panic erupting over his features.
"Haven't I lingered longer than I had to when you are sparring with my father? Haven't I felt your presence even when you're nowhere near me? Haven't I loved you ever since? Oh yes, I've felt the same."
She looked down at her hands, a steady blush developing over her cheeks.
Neji felt something inside him explode like fireworks and he kneeled before her, grasping for her cool hands. He kissed now, on one corner of her mouth and it twitched upwards in a lopsided smile. He smirked. Kissing the other corner of her mouth he was captivated by it. Her smile.
He hesitated then but he did it all the same. His mouth lingering over her long pale neck, he could feel her warm breath against his forehead. Her hands gripped at his shoulders as she felt his breath against her neck and his hands sliding her kimono over her shoulders.
"That cool touch. That's what I needed," he sighed into her ear.
Hyuuga Hinata always had cold hands. Except when his body moved against hers, their hands gripping each other's as they made love. Except when he kissed her wildly, urgently, fervently needing her, worshipping her, making her feel as if she was all that existed in the world. All that sustained him. Her hands would grow warm; her whole body would feel as if it were on fire, when he touched her. Her hands would grow warm when he looked into her eyes with paralyzing intensity and bit his lip in an effort to keep himself from moaning. Her hands were burning with the rest of her quivering body when he held her against him, his body feeling like searing heat.
Author's Note :
Just something that had been playing in my mind for a few days. Cold hands, that is. I don't know if the changing of tenses and character perspectives makes it more difficult to understand. But this story was kind of a spur of the moment thing. Do I burn in Hell for starting sentences with 'and'?
Anyhow, ENJOY! And Please Review.