Summary: After all this time, Neji finally gets his wish. His wish that Hinata would forever disappear from his life. But what was that old saying? 'Be careful of what you wish for.'? Now that his wish has finally come true, he is finding himself regretting his hateful wish and cold attitude. But on the one year anniversary of her absence from his life, he is given a second chance, and a glimpse of what his future could have been.
Chapter 1: Death
He stared in horror at the bloody scene before him. For years, he had wished for her death countless times, hating her for who she was, for what she represented. Even after his fight with Naruto in the Chuunin exams, he still couldn't bring himself to fully get rid of all his hatred. It was still there burning a black hole into his heart and soul. He knew he should have tried to bridge the gap that had come between them over the years, he knew he should give her a chance, but no matter how hard he tried he just couldn't. She was still weak and timid, everything a Konaha shinobi shouldn't be. She was merciful, soft, and easily put in her place. Everything the leader of their noble clan shouldn't be. She was a failure yet the Heiress and a Chuunin. And he hated her and his duty to her. But seeing her from across the battle field, seeing her fight for all that she was worth, seeing an extra enemy catch her by surprise and running his sword through her shocked him to the core. Everything suddenly seemed to stop, all the fighting, all the noise. All he could see was the blood spill from her body, and her look of surprise as she slowly fell to the ground. As soon as her broken body collapsed onto the hard surface, the fighting, the noise, started up again. He could hear someone in the distance yelling, a deep heartfelt yell.
"NO!" they screamed and as soon as they were done, he was shocked to feel his mouth close and his throat horse, he was the one that had yelled. His body was numb yet it moved on its on accord. He watched as he ran faster than he had ever ran before, passing all the other fights that were occurring between them. Her opponent was about to strike her again, but then he watched as his arm come up, blocking it with his kunai. Then without even thinking, he suddenly went into his Heavenly Spin, sending all her opponents flying. He quickly finished his spin and with the speed that was given credit only to the ANBU, he destroyed each and every one of them before they even touched the ground.
Turning around, he found her lying on her side, her arms trying to cover the fatal wound that pierced her body. He walked over to her, feeling as if this wasn't real, as if this was just a dream, a dream he desperately wanted to wake from. Standing over her, his pale eyes took in the large puddle of blood that was quickly surrounding her. Sensing someone, she slowly and carefully turned her head slightly. He stood there, just looking at her, blood that wasn't his splattered onto his face and arms. Her eyes tried not to look pleading, she tried to look accepting, she knew she was dying, she knew she only had a few minutes left. Oh how she wanted to apologize to him for making his life such hell, she wanted to tell him that she too was a cadged bird, and that he wasn't alone. But she wasn't sure if he would accept such words from her.
Suddenly Neji fell to his knees and he gently slid his arm under her neck, lifting her carefully, his other hand pressing against her own, trying to stop the bleeding yet both knowing it was futile. He hated her, he wished for this, Fate was finally giving him something he wanted, then why…why was he holding her? Why was he desperately trying to stop the bleeding, why was he trying to save her? He didn't know what to tell her, what to say to her. She was dying. She was dying in his arms, this was going to be the last time he would see her, speak with her, yet he couldn't find anything to say. Hinata tried to smile through the pain, she didn't know that he would come to care for her, she thought he hated her, but maybe she was wrong. Maybe he was waiting for her to bridge that gap, maybe he needed help, her help, and she failed him.
"I…I'm s-sorry." She whispered, trying not to choke on the blood she felt raising in her throat.
"Don't speak." He said with more calm than they both felt. Hinata smiled again, if there was one thing she could count on, it was Neji's inability to panic. He was always so levelheaded, always seeking a solution with patience and calm. Though the only time they were ever close was when they were children, he was still a constant in her life. Always there. It scared her that she would no longer be with her family or her friends. That this was actually the end for her.
"T-take…c-care…of…H-Hanabi…for me." she urged, her lavender eyes pleading with him. He clenched his teeth tightly as he could feel his heart beat faster and his breathing becoming shallow. She, too, was an ever constant in his life. A thorn in his side that would finally be removed. But every time he tried to imagine what life would be like without her, he would just come up with a blank. He didn't see relief, he didn't see happiness, he didn't see freedom, he didn't see anything. Is that what the future was going to be? Nothing? Was that why he was her protector? To ensure that he had a future? He didn't answer her request, he was concentrating too hard on keeping his face and eyes shuttered, not revealing his panicking thoughts.
"I…I…h-hope…one day…y-you'll…find…your…f-freedom." She whispered tiredly, she couldn't feel the pain anymore, and for that she was grateful. Darkness slowly clouded her vision and her eyelids felt so heavy. So, it wasn't so bad, to die. It was just like going to sleep. With the last of her strength, a corner of her mouth lifted slightly, creating a small smile.
"Neji…my cousin…my…friend." And with that her final breath slowly lifted from her body and expelled into the air. He was frozen, he couldn't move, he couldn't think, he couldn't breathe. All he could hear were her final words, echoing in his mind, playing over and over again. Neji…my cousin…my…friend. How could she call him that? How could she call him her friend? He had done nothing to deserve that title. He didn't support her, he put her down. He didn't ease her pain, he increased it. He wasn't a friend, he was an enemy. So how could she call him a friend? Was she that pathetic, that she had to start calling her enemies her friends?
"Are you that stupid? Are you that dumb? I'm not your friend. I'm not your friend!" he yelled at the limp body in his arms. His eyes couldn't see, he was blind, blind to everything.
"Do you hear me?!" he shook her, "I'm not your friend!" He yelled at her angrily, staring at her pale and serene face. He watched with enraged eyes as drops of water began to fall onto her smooth cheeks, sliding into the crevice of her mouth. Rain. She always enjoyed the rain.
"Neji?" Ino called, running over to him. He turned his face to watch her fast approach but as soon as he did she stopped in her tracks and gasped aloud, her hand coming quickly to cover her mouth as she started at him with shock. It wasn't until he saw that there were no other raindrops around him that he tasted liquid salt in his mouth. Lifting a bloodied hand, he touched his face delicately, feeling the wetness on his cheeks from his eyes. He looked back to the woman in his arms, staring at the wetness on her face. They were tears, they were his tears. So now, not only did she call him a friend but now she was making a cry baby out of him! How dare she!
"Wake up! What have you done to me!? What have you done to me?!" he yelled again, shaking her body. Ino quickly rush over and kneeled down. She was too late, why was she always too late! She couldn't save her sensei and now she couldn't save her friend and comrade! What was the point of becoming a medic nin if she couldn't save the ones closest to her!? Touching Neji's shoulder lightly, she looked at him with tears in her eyes.
"S-she's…she's gone Neji." She told him as gently as she could, but he shook his head and continued staring at the woman in his arms.
"No. No! She wouldn't leave her dream behind. She's weak, but she doesn't give up." He said, shaking her again. More tears began to build in Ino's eyes. Here was a man known and respected for his cool manner and his ability to remain objective at all times. A man known for his animosity towards Hinata and the Main House of the Hyuuga clan. A man that was now crying over and denying her death. It seems that sometimes the taking of a life could change even the coldest of hearts.
AN: Wah, what a horribly sad beginning, I know! I didn't really intend it to be that way, but that's how it goes. Anyways, welcome to by new NejiHina fic…this is a little birthday present to myself. I had put my other ficcies on hold for the time being so I shouldn't really be uploading this yet, but oh well…it's my birthday! I can do what I want! And I've been dying to write another one and now I've finally come up with a semi-original idea for a plot line. Hope you guys enjoy it. Reviews are always nice.