Explosions aren't Fireworks
Chapter Thirteen: Becoming One
"Neji…." She whispered in the dark, recognizing his voice. Her drifting in and out of consciousness stopped as she came to her senses. She stopped shivering as her body was warming up from his body heat. She blushed, realizing that she was practically naked, clothed in only her undergarments. They were awkwardly close: his hand was at the small of her back, her legs intertwined with his, and their faces uncomfortably close. When her eyes completely adjusted to the darkness, she saw his eyes open, glinting underneath the sliver of moonlight that shone through the curtains of his room window. She whispered his name again through the thick darkness, making sure she wasn't dreaming.
"Tell me what's on your mind, Hinata-sama." He confirmed the solidity of his presence. She was conscious.
"I...I don't know." Her voice was hushed and unsure. Her past was swirling around in her mind, muddled together and racking her mind with wild waves of emotion. She pushed her hand which was on his chest with a slight force, causing them to part a good few inches from the mere centimeter that had been separating them from being one. She relaxed her muscles which had been tense from the close proximity she had backed away from. She lay, holding her hands together over where her collarbones met, looking away from his eyes.
"You do know, Hinata-sama." His voice was mild as he lifted her chin and searched her perplexed eyes. He could see the storm rushing through her eyes. She was shaking terribly, not from the cold, but from the monster of her past. He kept his distance, respecting her boundaries, yet continued searching for a way in.
"I-I can't even th-think." She closed her eyes trying to tame the chaos spinning within her. He watched her with softened eyes, curious of the things running around inside of her. Her furrowed brows noted her attempts to think clearly through the blurred events. Her thoughts were loud in the silence of the room. The storm outside had settled to a light snow fall, the whitened earth reflected the moonlight serenely.
"Hinata…" He gently broke through the buzz of the silence.
"I can't let go…" She whispered almost inaudibly. Tears pooled into droplets on the lashes of her closed eyes. Neji brushed them away with his thumb, his melancholy eyes watched as she pressed her lips together in attempts to cease the formation of tears. As she burst out crying, something lit up within her. It was bright, and warm - an otherworldly presence.
"Be happy...my love." The fluorescent blue glow spoke to her. It formed into a human figure. Though the edges were blurred, Hinata could make out the identity of the man that was speaking to her within her subconscious.
"I can't...not without you…" She whispered out loud in her conscious. Neji waited in silence not seeming to understand that Hinata was experiencing a moment of clairvoyance. Her face had relaxed from its previously contorted expression.
"Be happy...Hinata, my love. You can, with him." Deidara's apparition slowly faded away. Her tears had stopped flowing and she opened her eyes to meet identical lavender pools. Their noses touched as Neji leaned forward to meet Hinata's now relaxed form. She did not stiffen as he closed the distance between them, giving sign that she was letting him in. When their lips brushed, Hinata felt a the flicker of a flame which had been threatening to fade when her first love was deceased. Their lips pressed together, igniting the flame within Hinata once more. She reached up behind his head, hand resting on Neji's undone hair. When Neji had deepened their kiss, Hinata felt tears rushing from her eyes again.
It's so wonderful...to feel again. Her lips broke into a small smile when they parted.
"I'm happy, Neji." She whispered, her eyes glowing with emotion as they melded with his.
Hinata woke the next day, the sun barely up in the purple sky. Her hands were tangled in Neji's hair. She slipped out of bed quietly as to not wake the sleeping Hyuuga prodigy, tucking him into the covers. She quickly threw on one of Neji's clean kimonos and slipped her zori onto her cold feet. She slid the door open and threw one last glance at his sleeping figure before silently heading back to her own quarters, hoping that no one would catch her. She ran quickly across the snow-dusted wooden floor, admiring the white garden at the center of the branch house's living quarters. When she crossed the floor bridge connecting the houses, she bumped into someone.
"Hinata…?" It was Hiashi. Hinata yelped, embarrassed that she had been caught. She clutched the kimono she had borrowed closed even tighter, heat seeping into her cheeks as her eyes darted left and right. She bit her lip, trying to come up with an excuse for why she was dressed...in Neji's clothes.
"W-We didn't umm…" Hinata scrunched her eyebrows up nervously. She would have twiddled her fingers habitually if she had not been preoccupied with clutching the garment to her body.
"I know, I was notified of your disappearance last night." The corners of Hiashi's mouth lifted, amused at his child.
"O-Oh...okay, f-father. I-I must...umm...head b-back now!" Hinata winced as she quickly dismissed herself by bowing swiftly and running as fast as her numb feet could take her. She slid her room door closed , nearly ripping the paper in the process. She sighed, willing her heart rate to slow as she headed towards her bath house. She hissed as she lowered herself into the steaming water in the wooden tub, her numbed nerves from the night she had passed out in the snow sparking back to life. She took deep breaths, sighing at the aroma of the flowers and bubbles of saponified fragrant oils floating in her bath. She submerged herself, the soothing water engulfing her. While she was under, she did not hear the gentle footsteps coming towards her. She surfaced, combing her fingers through her silken hair as she hummed.
"What man would not like you?" The voice stopped her humming. She jolted, unaware that there had been another presence in the room. She turned around to meet Neji. His hair was wet from a bath, his kimono tied loosely. She blushed and turned her back on him.
"Y-you sh-should know not to c-come in while a woman is washing." She continued combing her fingers through her hair.
"I'll wait for you outside, then." Neji smirked at Hinata's shy, shrunken form. He turned around and slid the shoji doors behind him. Hinata sighed in relief at the sound of the closed doors. As she rinsed herself off, she realized that she had no clothes with her.
"Oh no…" She whispered, slapping herself on her forehead. She quickly dried herself off and wrapped a towel around her slim, toned body. Hinata took a deep breath, willing herself not to faint as she slid the bath doors open, feet stepping through into her room. "N-Neji, t-turn away. D-don't you dare look!" She nervously squeaked. He chuckled and turned away.
"Alright, I won't, Hinata-sama." Hinata dressed quickly, pulling out a new, purple kimono with dancing, white and yellow blossoms. As she struggled with tying her obi, she felt a pair of hands guiding the obi around her waist, typing it crisply.
"It's not a job to do on your own." Neji was amused. Embarrassed, Hinata pressed her lips together, afraid to turn towards him. He placed a hand on her shoulder to turn her to face him. "Hinata…"
"Y-yes?" Her eyes were still glued to the ground. He lifted her chin up to gaze into her eyes before leaning down to press his lips to hers again. Hinata melted into the kiss, knees weak from emotion. He responded by placing an arm around her waist and pulling her close to him. She broke away, taking in air to regain her breath. Her eyes were wide and lips parted with a warm blush tinting her cheeks.
"Will you...marry me?" Neji implored, eyes searching hers. She lowered her lids, her long lashes curtaining her silver orbs.
"Y-yes...I will Neji." Her lips curled up into a blushing, shy smile. He held her to his chest as he smiled and whispered into her hair.
"I love you...Hinata." She smiled, listening to his racing heart beat.
Neji knelt down on the ground, finger tips lightly touching the ground, head bowed deeply.
"You may rise, Neji," Hiashi spoke above him, "For what reason am I receiving such honor?"
"Permission to speak, Hiashi-sama?" Neji rose from his bowing position.
"If I may, I humbly request the hand of your daughter." Neji was shaking in fear inside, but stood his ground exhuming confidence. Surprisingly, Hiashi's lips curved up in a kind smile.
"If that is your wish, then it is mine as well." Neji beamed as Hiashi pulled him into a warm embrace.
"Thank you so much, Hiashi-sama. Thank you."
"Take care of my daughter...son." Hiashi held Neji's shoulders, moved to tears. He wiped his eyes and dismissed Neji who immediately ran to seek his now fiancee.
Five months later
Hinata yelped as her house mother pulled her obi taut around her waist. Her wedding kimono was a striking crimson red color decorated with chrysanthemum flowers and golden trim. Her hair was twisted into an elegant updo and laced with many ornaments. She muttered under her breath about how her head felt like it would topple off at any moment.
"Wow, Hinata-nee-san, you look so beautiful!" Hanabi beamed at her sister, holding another ornament to be placed in her hair.
"Thank you, Hanabi-nee-chan, but it's awfully heavy!" Hinata yelped again as her house mother muttered and ripped out an ornament saying that it just wouldn't do. She stabbed the ornament Hanabi had been holding a moment ago, earning another yelp from the bride. She stepped back and admired her work.
"Well, Hinata. Your groom will be at a loss for words tonight." She smiled at her work of art. Hinata had managed to stand up, wobbling a bit from the weight of her head. She slid open the door to walk to the garden, closing her eyes and breathing in the fresh May air. It was noon, and the wedding was about to start. At the corner to stopped and reached out her hand. Another hand around the corner held hers.
"Hinata…" They greeted one another, blushing and excited to become newly weds. Not allowed to see one another before the wedding, they decided to meet at a corner, unable to see one another physically, only connected by their hands.
"Neji...we should go now." Hinata smiled. She could sense his smile in the warm breeze of the spring. They head off in separate directions.
At the garden, Hinata sighed, nervous about the ceremony. Hiashi stood behind her with a boy who held an umbrella over her and her grandmother was at her side, ready to guide her with a hand at the small of her back and another on her arm. Her bridesmaids Sakura, Ino, and Hanabi stood in front of her. In front of them were the instrumentalists and the priest. Sakura turned back and gave Hinata a reassuring smile. The music began playing and they slowly walked across the water bridge towards the center of the garden. On the other side, Neji began to walk over with his groomsmen, Naruto, Kiba, and Lee and his grandparents trailing behind. As both groups reached the center, Hinata smiled shyly at Neji and he returned a small smile. The music stopped and the priest began saying his blessings, guiding the couple in their vows.
"Do you, Hyuuga Neji, take Hyuuga Hinata to be your wife?"
"I do." Hinata smiled, her eyes glistening as Neji responded.
"And do you, Hyuuga Hinata, take Hyuuga Neji to be your husband?"
"I do…" Hinata nodded through her tears.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife," the priest turned to Neji, "You may now kiss the bride." Neji pressed his lips to hers, earning whoops from the crowd.
Hinata sat at her new vanity, removing the heavy ornaments from her hair, unraveling her updo. As she combed her hair, Neji pressed his lips to her cheek.
"It's getting late. We should go to bed soon." Neji whispered in her ear. Hinata blushed at the new sound. It felt strange, but exhilarating.
"Neji…" she stood up from her vanity, "will you..?" She gestured to her obi. He delicately undid the obi as if unwrapping a present and carried her away, leaving the heavy kimono layers on the cool floorboards. Hinata blinked as Neji lay her on their bed. Our bed… She thought, blushing as he undid his kimono. She pulled the covers shyly over her.
"If you're not ready, then we won't." Neji smirked as he turned to face her. She smiled gently, looking into his eyes when he lay beside her.
"N-No, it's not th-that...but I...but I-I…" Hinata twiddled her fingers together.
"But you what?" Neji asked curiously, smiling at his new bride.
"I…love you" Hinata pressed her lips to his. Surprised as they pulled back, Neji couldn't help but grin at her. He got on to his knees, placing a hand on either side of her head. Hinata squeaked and sunk further into her pillows, her long hair fanning out.
"I love you, too, Hinata" Neji smiled and kissed her again. Hinata's dainty hands rested on his toned chest, placing a little distance between them, "Do you trust me, Hinata?" He implored. She gave a timid nod as he placed a hand on the small of her back, pulling her in closer as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
A/N: I couldn't bring myself to write a lemon! Wahhhhhh. If you wanted one, I'm sorry! They did or did not do the deed, that is to your preference. Hahaha! (: