A/N: Thanks to everyone for their support. I really appreciate everything. This will be this story's final chapter. I hope this proves to be a satisfying conclusion.
Disclaimer: Insert random nonsense here (insert statement of me disclaiming Naruto here).
Silence followed long gasps as the crowd watched Kusuriko Kenkyakukuse's broken frame fall lifelessly to the floor. A medical team rushed to the girl's side and proceeded to examine her. Right there in the middle of the tournament floor, the medics fought restlessly to resuscitate the girl's stopped heart. Finally, after much effort, Kusuriko gave some hard breaths before dislodging a pool of blood in a cough. The chunin writhed in pain as the medical team prepared a stretcher. Kusuriko was hauled away for major treatment while her father looked on with a mix of disappointment, anger, and relief.
"I… H-Hinata. This might be too much for you…" Kurenai said shaking her head in disbelief.
"I've already made my promise to see things through… I can't turn back now." Hinata said with distant strength.
"She almost killed that other girl. Whatever point you-…no, whatever point I was trying to make by forcing you into this tournament isn't worth it if it means your life or your health." Kurenai spoke hesitantly.
"I know that. I'm scared. This fight won't be like the others. But that's why I have to face this with strength. I need to prove that my shinobi way is something that I am willing to put my life on in order to see through." Hinata said slightly shaken but managing to flash a proud smile to Kurenai.
"Right…" Kurenai said being captivated by her lover's determinant drive.
"I love you." Hinata told her this time, realizing that this could be her last time to say it while keeping a confidence that she would ensure it wasn't.
"Yes, and I love you." Kurenai replied in a fragile tone, tears already starting from her eyes, as she took Hinata into her embrace for a tight but still non-suggestive hug before sending her out to the fight.
"Okay. It's time for the battle we've all been waiting for: The intense championship battle of this Konoha Taijutsu Competition Spectacular. Proving their tenacity in the face of the most challenging of opponents, these two incredible kunoichi have risen the ranks to prove themselves as truly exceptional ninja. But in the end only one can win in this fight. Hinata Hyuga the unparalleled young successor of Konoha's most prestigious clan and Muteki Kyuuketsuki the underdog eighth place contestant who has proven herself fearsome as she effortlessly rose up the ranks. Let's go. Match begin." Maito Gai called out in a sporadic manner, allowing the vigorous spark that had vanished in the shock of Kusuriko's defeat to return to the crowd once more.
Hinata proceeded to square off against her new opponent. Muteki's frame was largely coated in her own blood from the innumerable cuts Kusuriko had landed. Hinata had had some time in between this fight and her last and perhaps as such possessed an advantage in that she had had the time to let herself partly recover her body and chakra. By the same token, however, Muteki was by now fully caught up in the heat of battle; crushing Kusuriko's body and spirit had only seemed to embolden her lust for more blood. Kurenai could only wonder who was at a true advantage here.
"I-I'm not going to lose to you." Hinata asserted bolstering all the confidence she could.
"You will die here." Muteki let out in a soft dark tone.
Hinata wasted little time in taking up the offensive, bombarding the younger girl with a barrage of powerful palm thrusts. Muteki made great effort to dodge the fists as she had other attacks but Hinata was faster than her and the Byakugan gave Hinata much better perception. Muteki soon found herself on the end of one of Hinata's strikes. She gave a curious laugh that led one to believe that she really had no idea how Hinata's technique and her own would interact. On contact though she flashed a decidedly evil smile as Hinata felt hard pain cascade into her hand, leaving it feeling withered and lifeless. The Hyuga backed off a distance and with great effort forced chakra into her hand in order to revive it.
"Ha, it seems I can absorb the chakra you pump into me directly into my defenses. This is perfect. Attacking me is a wasted struggle for you." Muteki boasted now showing signs of amusement in her usually dully gloom face.
"I will find a way…" Hinata sighed under her breath as she pondered if she truly was without hope.
Hinata resumed her assault. This time Muteki didn't try to dodge any of the attacks as she now knew they would only make her stronger and Hinata weaker. Hinata didn't attack directly either, just delivering quick taps and swift kicks before attempting to catch the other off guard with a swift kunai strike which proved entirely ineffective against the other's solid defenses.
"This is too easy. It's quite amusing… that this will be the moment I will first be recognized for." Muteki was now laughing furiously as if she was enjoying every instant.
"Recognition… what is it you want to be recognized for." Hinata said finding a moment to pause.
"Very well, since you're going to die by my hand I can at least tell you why. You see, I've always had trouble making friends. No one seems to care about me; even my family seems to not have time for me. But when your blood is on my hands then… then everyone will know I am someone great and powerful. That I am someone to be feared. Then I can use that fear to strike back at this village and those who have failed to recognize me." Muteki said with intense wrath.
Hinata paused for a moment. Kurenai could tell from the look on her young lover's face what she was thinking. This was the same as her. Everyone saw her as the Hyuga heir. The real her was something pushed to the side and ignored. That was why her father had abandoned her back then, because she wasn't performing adequately to the expectations of what the Hyuga heir should be able to do. This was why people tended to avoid her, this was why she always looked to others for herself. This was what Kurenai had tried to address, this emptiness. Naruto had been the same and that was why Hinata had held him in such high regard. He was immediately judged by the villagers, and left to either except their definition of him or forge one himself. He had chosen the latter, and Hinata had tried to follow suit. She hadn't been strong enough, at least not until today, until she had fully accepted Kurenai as her strength. She had beaten back the fear and paranoia of her fellow man's perception of her in order to become someone strong who could be there for Kurenai. She now knew that it was up to her to prove to Muteki that she could do the same.
"You can't let people control you. You need to rise up and shape your own life." Hinata said showing a great deal of emotion in her Byakugan eyes.
"Ha, like the Hyuga golden child knows anything about shaping her own life. You can spew nonsense all day but nothing you say will affect me." Mutki responded in a cold tone.
"If you have faith in yourself and in your own abilities then others will naturally think highly of you. Besides, there are always people who will love you just because you're you. If you find strength in that love, you can use it to build a better you that everyone admires. At least that's my way." Hinata said with real passion behind her soft-spoken voice.
"With each word I want to kill you more… Are you done yet with your disgusting little lecture?" Muteki called out with a heavy frown.
"I will prove to you the strength that I have forged in myself and the ones whom I love." Hinata responded with indignant force as she prepared for a new attack.
Hinata began attacking Muteki, rapidly hitting the girl at rapid intervals at points spread out across Muteki's entire body. The strikes seemed to accomplish nothing; Muteki wore a smile as each time. When Hinata withdrew her hands from their incessant strikes on her they had the appearance of death and a look of shear pain adorned the girl's face.
"You think you can do what my last opponent did and cause damage by spreading out your attacks. Don't you see that with your technique, causing any damage is impossible?" Muteki bore a vicious smile as she shot a short confident laugh.
"That's not true. I can win; I'm sure of it." Hinata taunted proudly matching Muteki in confidence.
"Ughh… I must end this, Now!" Muteki said, disgusted, before deciding to take the offense herself.
She dislodged a furious strike in Hinata's direction which was avoided but followed with a ruthless sweeping kick. This, however, was blocked and merely brushed aside by Hinata. Who pushed the other girl back and drew two kunai before meeting a surprised Muteki with a look of renewed determination.
"My technique… It isn't working like it should. How is it that you can just brush of my attacks like that without feeling anything." Muteki said in soft and confused yet hateful tone, as she took up a defensive stance.
"For the same reasons, I can do this." Hinata smiled coolly before making a lightning fast movement toward Muteki dislodging the kunai she held at once into either of the young girl's thighs. Muteki writhed in pain as she fell to her knees clenching tightly to the small knives now quickly coating in the crimson of her blood.
"You… what did you do to me?" Muteki now seemed unusually emotional and distressed.
"The Hyuga technique can specifically target the body's chakra points…" Hinata said giving a slight glance in the direction of her waiting sensei.
"B-but even if you disabled all my chakra points. Even if you severely halted the flow of chakra in my body, that doesn't explain how you could… I keep levels of chakra in every part of my body to where any attack could easily be repelled without having to control the chakra flow directly." Muteki muttered spitefully, in a slow yet sporadic manner.
"The Hyuga technique can be used to increase the chakra flow as well." Hinata added insightfully.
"But that wouldn't have done anything but help me… I don't see how…" Muteki continued though the distraught look across her face revealed that she soon understood Hinata's plan.
"I can combine the two…. That's how I was able." Hinata smiled as if she was as proud in herself as her sensei undoubtedly was.
"So you increased and decreased the flow of chakra at my chakra points to your liking so that you could then effectively manipulate the flow of my chakra." Muteki said, now that she understood a sign of confidence seemed to return to her face as she pulled the kunai from her flesh and got to her feet.
"With your ability, your chakra flow was even easier to control than normal. The way you are now, it's likely by now you have virtually no chakra flowing in the lower half of your body." Hinata said trying her best not to sound arrogant.
"Even when you're smart you're stupid. If you really wanted to win, you would have decided to make the other half the target. As it is now, you're still going to have a hard time immobilizing me." Muteki cave a smug expression, that led one to believe her new strategy consisted of making the best of a bad situation.
"I don't want to kill you. I can actually achieve a more clear victory this way. Either way it would have been hopeless for you." Hinata said in a simple way.
"We'll just have to see." Muteki's replied in a sharp tone before charging in once more with a series of punches.
Hinata avoided each attack with ease, putting more distance between her and Muteki with each successful dodge. With the lack of chakra flow in Muteki's legs her speed was greatly reduced and the prospect of her landing a hit on Hinata now seemed ridiculous. Muteki resorted to pulling a kunai from her things and tossing it disjointedly at Hinata in a vain atempt to catch the girl off guard. Hinata caught the poorly thrown knife in mid air by the blade. Hinata moved to counter, lodging Muteki's kunai straight into her lower back and following it with several more of her own kunai into Muteki's thighs, legs and the sides of her stomach. She finished by launching two more kunai directly at the girl's feet. Muteki continued to launch attacks for a while despite what was obvious pain. Blood poured incessantly from each of her deep wounds and around each knife. Finally, Muteki seemed unable to move her legs altogether, her body twitched a bit before she fell hard to the ground, fainting into unconsciousness due to pain and loss of blood.
"I hope you now see… That someone can be strong if they just believe they can be." Hinata said in a soft, heart-filled way that suggested that at the moment she believed her words more than anything else.
The match was then called in Hinata's favor. Gai soon returned to the floor and positioned himself next to Hinata before opening his mouth.
"What an exciting match! We finally have arrived at a winner today in this Konoha Taijutsu Competition grand battle phase, Hinata Hyuga, has proven herself to be the best of the best, an exceptional shinobi who's Taijutsu burns wildly with the untamed power of youth." Gai said in his usual exuberance as he proclaimed Hinata the tournaments champion over the roar of the ecstatic crowd.
Soon, Hinata was presented with a small trophy and her cash prize which she accepted with a gracious smile. Moments later she was handed a document signed by Tsunade proclaiming her to have special status as a preferred shinobi of Konoha. As she returned once more to her sensei's side, this usually insecure and shy girl beamed with a radiance of self-worth and accomplishment.
Kurenai and her lover spent the rest of the day celebrating Hinata's victory in town. Hinata's wounds in the final fight had been minimal so the two were able to enjoy the rest of the day peacefully. By the time the two returned to Kurenai's home it was already night. Kurenai felt pulses of excitement in the fibers of her being as she stared once more at the young girl she loved, now returned to a private sanctuary for their love. Hinata had really proven herself that day; she had shown such strength, passion, and drive that Kurenai couldn't help but feel waves of girlish anticipation seized hold of her as she thought of Hinata holding her once more.
"You don't know how proud I am of you." Kurenai started in, knowing that her distracted, distanced gaze and silence might be off-putting to the Hyuga.
"Yes, I-I never would have believed I could have actually won something like that." Hinata said revisiting moments of personal glory.
"You became so strong out there. You know when I was training you last week. I was trying to capture this strength. I had become convinced it wasn't in there..." Kurenai acquiesced in a soft reflective tone.
"I guess it was… it just took a more… direct approach for you to get it out of me." Hinata replied giving a smile that clearly suggested the mischievous intent of her words.
"You really were great today. After that performance, I'm sure the Hokage will already be considering you for jounin during the next selection." Kurenai said dotingly.
"I'm still more interested in the prize I'm supposed to be getting from you…" Hinata replied softly.
"Oh, so you decided on something you want; what could that be?" Kurenai laughed.
"I-I want to move back in with you again, sensei... So that we can start a life together" Hinata said with a nervous, naive quiver in the inflection of her words.
"That's it? I thought that much was already sorted out." Kurenai said smiling.
"You don't think it will look weird if we live together, do you?' Hinata asked in a meek way, it kind of relieved Kurenai that the nervous, shy teenage girl she knew so well was still in there.
"No. There are many excuses that could be made for it. We already once used to live together. It will be assumed that nothing has changed since then." Kurenai said finding herself once more in the familiar position of reassuring the girl. The fact that both of them realized that this love, at least for the moment was something to keep secret didn't bother her in the least.
"I'm happy…" Hinata smile widely as she focused in on her lover's eyes.
"So, is that all you want then, Hinata?" Kurenai asked giving a slight sensual coo.
"Well there's this too." Hinata replied sweetly as she moved to press a hot kiss on her sensei's waiting lips. The two kissed romantically for a few moments before allowing themselves to get lost in the lust of the moment.
Soon they were both once more atop the bed familiar from the previous night. Hinata held Kurenai tightly in her embrace as she forced her tongue rigidly to the edges of Kurenai's lips eliciting soft moans from the older woman who used both her hands to explore her delicate lover's beautiful frame once more. Hinata's hand moved to Kurenai's cheek as she gently stroked her face while staring endlessly into Kurenai's eyes.
"I love you." Hinata said with such certainty that it made Kurenai's heart jump despite the fact she had heard it many times before.
"I love you." Kurenai replied. The air was thick with love as Kurenai and Hinata fixed their gaze into the other's eyes. Lover's smiles encompassed both girls' faces, as they knew their hearts would now be forever connected.
A/N: That's the finale. Tell me your thoughts. I had debated inserting a second lemon in here but decided against it. I thought it would kill the downward motion of the fic and generally just be out of place. I think I would have struggled making a scene that could stand up to chapter 4 anyway. I still tried to make the whole uber-cute romantic ending. That fight might have been a little cheesy. I tried to connect it back to some story themes and stuff from earlier and I'm not entirely sure it was too captivating. I'm also not sure what extent the Hyuga can actually control their opponents chakra. I don't know, but that whole chakra manipulation thing was the best I could come up with in regards to a way for Hinata to win. I suppose in hindsight I should have given Muteki a power that would be easier for Hinata to deal with (although initially I had Kusuriko in the final match so it didn't seem necessary for Muteki being someone Hinata needed to deal with). Overall this concludes one of my better fanfics in my opinion (also this is my longest fanfic). You tell me what you think. It seems like I've been writing this one forever so I'm happy to be moving on to something new. Speaking of the new fic, in case you missed it last chapter, my next fic is being determined by vote. It will be either: choice 1: Ino X Hinata, choice 2: Sakura X Ayame, or choice 3: Yugao X Temari. If you haven't voted yet feel free to inform me your choice in a review or PM. See my profile or chapter six of this fic for more details. Voting will close on Tuesday morning when I start actually writing the fic.