Author: Alexz Recoro

Summary: When assassins target Hinata, in order to gain the Byakugan, and there seems to be a spy inside the Hyuuga family, where could she be safer than with the strongest ninja in Konoha, even if he IS the village outcast? Hinata/Naruto

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.

Feedback: Please read and review

AN: I REALLY need to get something off my chest. I LOVE NARUTO/HINATA! There, now that I've said that, on with the story. As always, read and review, while flames will be used to threaten the plot bunnies with barbeque.


Hyuuga Hinata had been sleeping peacefully until something had caused her to open her eyes with a gasp. She frowned as she sat up and looked around, pushing her long hair back behind her ears. Her sharp eyes darted around the room, and she almost laughed when she realized that she had activated her Byakugan without even thinking about it. She had also grabbed and unsheathed a kunai knife from beside her bed.

She sat absolutely still and strained her ears, but didn't hear anything or see anything, not even with her Byakugan. She sighed and deactivated her blood limit. Without it, her room was suddenly pitch black. Hinata blinked rapidly, trying to get her eyes to adjust, scowling. That was the drawback to using the Byakugan at night. Once it was deactivated, the eyes took a moment to adjust. Neji was currently working on the problem; at least, Hinata thought he still was. He had been mumbling about it for weeks, ever since his girlfriend, Tenten, had used this weakness to tackle Neji from behind. Hinata had witness this, and had actually howled with laughter, holding her ribs as they ached. Tenten had also been giggling madly, while Neji had been red enough to light up a small city.

Hinata's eyes finally adjusted to the darkness, and she quickly scanned her room, just in case her Byakugan had missed something. But nothing was there, and she couldn't hear anything, so she shrugged and laid back down.

But now she couldn't sleep.

She sighed as she shoved at her pillow and tugged at her blankets, trying to get comfortable. But nothing worked. No matter how many times she shifted position, her eyes refused to stay closed, snapping open at every night noise, and her muscle refused to relax, tensing every time her eyes opened. This was ridiculous! She was supposed to meet her friends for training tomorrow, and she needed to get some sleep. But it just wouldn't come.

With a cry of frustration, very rare in the young woman, Hinata threw off her blankets and stood up. Maybe if she took a walk around the quiet house, she could tire herself out. She slid open the door of her bedroom, stepped out into the hall . . . and was instantly attacked.

All she had time to do was scream before a man, dressed as a ninja, slammed her into the wall with his full body weight and slapped a hand over her mouth. Not that that was necessary. He had knocked her breath out of her lungs when he slammed her into the wall, and she couldn't even draw a breath. Her eyes widened in panic, even as she began struggling. The man lifted a knife into her view and pressed the tip against the corner of her eye, just hard enough to create pressure, but not hard enough to puncture the skin. Hinata stopped struggling instantly: the message was clear. Stop struggling, or we take your eyes now, instead of waiting until after we kill you.

Anger instantly surged up in Hinata. They were in her home! And what would Naruto say, if he saw her give up so easily? Summoning every bit of chakra she had, Hinata shoved it outwards, knocking the man away from her and slamming him into the wall hard enough to rock the house. Hinata yelled again.

"NEJI!" She screamed loudly. He had to hear her, his room was just down the hall. His door opened instantly, followed by her father's . . . and Hinabi's. Hinabi! She'd be a target as well!
"No Hinabi!" Hinata yelled, rushing for her sister's door. She got there at the same time as a second ninja, and she sent him flying with a well placed kick. "Get inside and stay there!" Hinata snapped, shoving her sister back into her room. "Arm yourself, but STAY THERE!"
"Hinata?!?" Hinabi had never seen her sister like this. Hinata had never, never ordered her to do anything. Hinata ignored her sister's questions, shoving the younger girl back and slamming the door. Then she positioned herself in front of it. She would protect her little sister!

She turned just in time to see the first ninja recover enough to rush her. But she had already activated her Byakugan, and she instantly activated her chakra shield and shoved it at him. It hit him as solidly as a wall and the man bounced off it. He landed on his back and actually slid a few more feet . . . only to stop right at Neji's feet as he rushed into the hall, with his Byakugan activated and armed with shuriken and a kunai knife. Neji almost tripped over the man, but he recovered enough to quickly strike at the man with his Gentle Fist, effectively sealing away his chakra. Then Neji rapped the ninja on the forehead with the handle of the kunai knife, knocking him out. The second ninja had already disappeared, and Hinata's could see five others already escaping over the wall of the compound and escaping, have obviously decided that the mission was a failure.

Hinata deactivated her Byakugan, and as the adrenaline of the battle wore off, her vision blurred and she stared to sway. She had used so much chakra . . .

"Hinata!" Hinabi opened her door just in time to jump forward and catch her older sister as her legs buckled and she fell.
"Hinata!" Hiashi and Neji echoed, rushing to her side.
"Hinata, are you hurt? Did they hurt you?" Hiashi demanded as he gently took Hinata into his arms and cradled her like a baby. His oldest daughter was so small and petite, and looked so fragile lying in his arms, white as a sheet. If those intruders has harmed one hair on her head . . . But then she opened her eyes and smiled up weakly at him.

"I'm okay father. I just used too much chakra, too fast. I'm just a little dizzy. It will pass."
"You should have seen that shield she threw at the one we captured!" Neji said, his eyes wide with amazement. "It was like a wall of chakra, and it hit him hard! He actually bounced down the hallway! It was amazing!" He smiled down at his younger cousin and ran a hand over her hair protectively. "Are you sure you're okay? If they touched you, I can make sure the prisoner wishes you had killed him!"

"I'm okay." Hinata assured her cousin. Hiashi noticed in relief that she was already getting some color back in her cheeks.
"Can you sit up?" He asked his daughter. "Don't lie. If you're still weak, I can carry to you bed."
"Just help me sit up." Hinata told her father. He did, but even that small action seemed to exhaust her, and she sagged against his chest. He let her, holding her close. Hinabi was his heir, but Hinata was his treasure, even if he couldn't show it, his one reminder of his dead wife, Hinata's mother. She looked so much like her . . .

"Hinabi, are you all right?" Hinata asked. Hinabi nodded.
"Of course, thanks to you!"
"What?" Hiashi and Neji both asked, looking at Hinabi.
"Hinata protected me!" Hinabi told her father and cousin. "I would have walked right into an attack if she hadn't kicked one of the ninja's away from me and then pushed me back into my room!"

"It's my job; I'm your big sister." Hinata said, reaching out and taking Hinabi's hand. Hinabi squeezed her sister's hand in thanks.
Hinata winced suddenly, and Hiashi instantly reached out and gripped his daughter's wrists, then turned her hands so he could see her palms. Both of Hinata's palms were red and blistered: chakra burns. She had forced more chakra out of her hands then her skin could take. Neji actually winced in sympathy. Chakra burns hurt worse than anything.
"That's it, bed for you Hinata. You've exhausted you're chakra, and actually burned your palms!" Hiashi stood up, with Hinata cradled in his arms like she was an infant again. She was just so small, compared to the rest of her family. Just like her mother. Hiashi smiled secretly. It seemed that Hinata was never going to inherit his height.

He stood down the hall towards her room, Hinata sagging in his arms as the rest of the adrenaline leaked out of her muscles, leaving her as limp and weak as a rag doll.
"Father, where are the guards?" She asked suddenly, her head lolling against his chest. "None of them came when I screamed. I had to yell Neji's name before anyone woke up . . ." Her voice trailed off as she dropped into an exhausted sleep, right in her father's arms.

She hasn't done that since she was a toddler. Hiashi realized. His daughter had become so stiff and formal around him. If she wasn't suffering from a severe drain on her chakra, she would never had allowed herself to fall asleep in his presence, let alone in his arms, her head resting on his chest. And he would be checking on why the guards were so lax in their duties as soon as possible. Hinata or Hinabi might have been killed!

Hiashi laid his daughter on her bed and drew the covers up to her chin, tucking her in. He ran a hand over her dark hair, smiling fondly. His gentle little Hinata, with her kind heart and shy temperament. It seemed almost cruel that she would be born into the Hyuuga family; his gentle little girl had suffered so, the worst of it at his hand. No more. Hiashi promised himself. Hinata may not be his heir anymore, but she was still his daughter, his little girl, the girl her uncle had died to protect. And now Hiashi would protect her.

He rose to go, but Hinata stirred slightly and opened her eyes, then reached out a hand to him.
"Please Father, stay with me. I know you think I'm weak, but . . ." Her eyes filled with tears suddenly and she turned her face away, letting her hand fall back to the blankets. "Never mind." She mumbled into her pillow. "I'm sorry."
"No Hinata, don't be sorry. I don't think you're weak. You were very strong and brave tonight. I'm proud of you." Hiashi settled himself next to her bed once more, and wiped away his daughter's tears, letting his palm rest on her cheek. "I'll stay until your asleep, okay?"

"Thank you." Hinata whispered, snuggling against her father's touch. She was asleep almost instantly, but Hiashi lingered by her side, simply watching her sleep and assuring himself that she was okay. She had taken such a risk, using that much chakra, and had done it to protect her sister, the sister who had taken her rightful place as the Hyuuga heir, the younger sister who was so much stronger than her according to everyone, according to him. Yet Hinata had rushed to protect her without a second thought, because of the simple fact that Hinabi was her baby sister and she'd wanted to protect her.

And now he would do his duty as a father and protect Hinata while she slept. Even if it was just from nightmares.

AN2: So, what did you think? Reveiw, please! The Naruto/Hinata will technically belong in the next chapter. This chapter is more me getting frustrated with how Hiashi treats Hinata, and me wanting him to be a little more careing and parental, and maybe realizing exactly how much he had hurt his daughter.