Chapter 33

Hinata let out soft, half suppressed sobs as she was being shaken violently by one of the Cloud's meds. Their patience had reached their peak and they were currently taking it out on her, foolishly hoping that shaking her would somehow make her Byakugan work again.

Tears were slipping out of Hinata's shut eyes and sliding quickly down the sides of her cheeks. She was laid down and her shoulders were beginning to become numb at how hard the man was grasping them. She held her breath for as long as she could until he finally released her, shoving her hard by the shoulders towards the table. Her head's collision with the table resounded with a loud bang and Hinata could not help but let out a painful yelp as blood began slowly oozing out from under her head.

"What the fuck is the matter with you? You have no seal! What did you do? You must've done something to shut it off!" screamed the medic nin grabbing her roughly again by the shoulders. Hinata kept her eyes shut and merely squeaked again when he made her sit back up. He grabbed her by the cheeks roughly and pulled her face close to his own. Then all Hinata felt was a stinging slap to her right cheek.

"Open your fucking eyes, bitch!"

Hinata did as she was told and then she was once again grabbed by her face, forced to face him with his fingers digging deeper into her cheeks.

"Answer me." he murmured venomously.

"I- I didn't... d-do a-any-any-thing! P-please!" Hinata cried, no longer bothering to hold her tears back at all. They began flowing at a rapid pace down her face.

The medic resisted the urge to slap her again and then threw her back onto the table again, the back of her head again hitting down hard onto the surface. She shrunk into herself and turned her body away placing her hands over the wound on the back of her head. She sobbed softly until she heard (and felt) a hard kick land on the edge of the table and then angry, stomping footsteps disappearing into the hallway. That was when she let it all out. Her soft sobs turned into loud wails of pain and her nose began running...

At the door stood a silent Ryunosuke. His usual radiant yellow eyes looked dull and expressed deep sorrow. His lips lay slightly parted and he looked paler than he usually did. His eyes began roaming his surroundings for a bit before turning back to the Hyuuga who was still weeping uncontrollably. He looked away at the sight. It pained him. He didn't understand why, but it did. And he was not going to put up with it for another night. He gave her one last look-over and then slowly began pacing away from the whining.

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A knot formed on Hinata's throat when she heard the door creak open. She shut her eyes tightly and shifted to fetal position clutching her knees tightly to herself. Not again... please...

When she felt a soft tug at the yukata she was now wearing, she clutched tighter. Go away!

"Hinata-sama..."

When she heard Ryunosuke's voice, Hinata's eyes opened suddenly and she sat up to face him as a huge wave of relief overcame her.

"R-ryunosuke? Wh-what are you d-doing here?"

Ryunosuke shrugged at her question. "I have no idea... but you will get up and you will follow me without questions and without noise. Understood?"

"E-ehh? To where?" Hinata's voice revealed fear towards her captor and this made him scowl openly.

"I said no questions." he said briskly, deciding to ignore her if she spoke again. He roughly made a grab for her hand and tugged at it, leaving Hinata no say in the matter. Wherever he was taking her couldn't be much worse than where she was now. Her feet began moving as he led her in resignation.

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Hinata's eyes narrowed when she caught sight of where they were headed.

"W-we're leaving the Cloud? Wh-why?" Hinata asked suspiciously as they approached the large gates. He growled back at her, stopping to face her.

"Ahh... I said no questions Hyuuga. Shut it!" He pointed a menacing finger at her and then turned forward again and began quickening his pace until he finally broke into a jog.

"We have to hurry..." he began looking around the area, "the gates aren't guarded right now because foreign shinobi were detected close by."

Hinata's mouth parted slightly at this. Could it be Konoha?

The information she had just heard was all she needed to regain her stamina, and she began running alongside Ryunosuke, who curiously still held on to her hand. Hinata, however, took no notice of this and looked straight on, anxiously expecting to see any of the Rookie 9 at any given time. Within minutes, they were well outside the gates.

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Sai scanned the area as he rode atop one of his ink birds. His eyes were narrowed and his nose wrinkled in confusion. He brought up one hand and placed it beneath his jaw rubbing it lightly. Then he shook his head and motioned for the bird to head back down. As he neared the ground, the bird disappeared into nothing and Sai landed gracefully on his legs.

"Well, this is the Cloud..." he said more to himself than to the team ",but i'll say that there are no troops nearby from what I can see. It's suspicious... You'd think they'd be out here attacking us, just waiting for us to rescue Hinata... but nothing." His eyes made it evident that he was uneasy (at the fact that he couldn't see much) and this somehow became contagious, and they all became uneasy.

A soft gasp was heard before a light slap and everyone turned around to face Lee who had one hand over his gaping jaw. "M-masaka! You think maybe they're all celebrating cuz they already dissected her and learned the secrets of the Byakugan?!?!"

Sasuke's eyes flashed red at the comment and he threw Lee an icy glare. Neji's face had been drained of all color at the remark.

"For their sake... I hope not." Sasuke said slowly nearing Lee with clenched fists. Lee gulped and then stepped back laughing uneasily.

"Gomen Sasuke kun! I'm sure that's not the case! Who'd be able to harm someone as innocent and loving as Hinata-chan??"

"Who, indeed," a stranger's voice sounded from among the darkness of the forest halting Sasuke's steps.

Instantly, everyone in the team had taken out at least one kunai and both eye jutsu users had activated their bloodlines. Neji's veins popped out around his eyes as he began scanning his field of vision. He turned slowly to his left and pointed at the unfamiliar chakra systems that had appeared within his peripheral.

"There." Everyone turned to where he was pointing. His eyes narrowed slightly.

"There's more than one..." He stated calmly and sternly with his eyes focusing on the targets. His eyes widened when he recognized the second chakra system.

"Hinata-sama." Neji rushed forward towards the chakra as did Sasuke and both came to a sudden halt when they saw Hinata being guided by the hand by a stranger- and not looking the least bit frightened. A baffled look settled over Neji's and Sasuke's features.

"Who the hell are you? Hand her over." Sasuke growled breaking the ice as he glared intensely at the shinobi who was currently holding onto Hinata's hand. His hands were squeezing the kunai he was holding in a death grip.

Ryunosuke put his one available hand up defensively and cooly gave grin continuing forward in slow, small steps. "Gee, so violent."

"S-Sasuke-kun! It's okay! H-he helped me!" Hinata said walking a bit behind the stranger.

Sasuke looked at her briefly and his grip relaxed slightly. His sharingan deactivated and his charcoal eyes darted back to Ryunosuke.

"Let go of her hand already." A large overgrown vein had popped out of Sasuke's forehead as he stared menacingly at Ryunosuke, who had been holding her hand the entire time. He approached slowly and faced Ryunosuke straight on. They were exactly the same height so neither seemed to intimidate the other one bit. Ryunosuke held his grin; Sasuke wore a frown. Then Sasuke outstretched his arm and he slowly grabbed Hinata's arm gently and tugged at it, pulling her away from the yellow eyed nin.

He embraced her immediately but didn't break the eye contact with Ryunosuke, whose grin had vanished and had been replaced by a deep frown.

That's what I get for helping...

Neji stood there dumbfounded at the spectacle. Hinata hadn't even tried saying anything to him, her own cousin. He wrinkled his nose at the scene and shut his eyes tight with frustration.

"If neither of you mind... We need to get going... before they come find us." Neji reminded them as he crossed his hands in front of his chest and stared at Hinata, who's only visible area was the top of her blue head of hair. He shook his head with disapproval.

Sasuke turned around at this and began walking away, only to be stopped by Ryunosuke, who had placed his hand on his shoulder.

"You think I'm just gonna let you two leave like that? I have done too much for her... and I'm suspected..."

"That's not our problem." Sasuke murmured out to the stranger and he pulled his shoulder away roughly then proceeded approaching the rest of the team.

"Sasuke kun! Don't you think we owe him some sort of thank you for rescuing your beloved!?!" Lee exclaimed energetically at first, then his voice trailed off when he noted the glare Sasuke was throwing him.

"Indeed he does." Neji said sternly. "He'll come with us... and we'll see just how much he did to help Hinata-sama." Neji grinned evilly as he caught a glimpse of Sasuke's twitching eyebrow.

"Tch. Fine. Whatever. Let's just go."

With that the team of shinobi began their way back to Konoha, hoping nothing would get out of hand when they reached their destination. Sasuke would be in deep shit if Tsunade was not in a good mood... or drunk.