Chapter 4: Epilogue
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Five Years Later
Haishi sighed. He hated the clan meetings but it was tradition of the Konoha clans. The hokage herself was present. Tsunade had become hokage a few months ago after the third had died in his sleep.
"Tsunade-same," Shizune whispered, "you have to start the meeting."
Tsunade sighed at least after the meeting the Uchiha would feed them and the clans would socialize. "This meeting is to convene. Let's make it brief and to the point."
"What a drag."
"Shikamaru, think as soon as this is over we can eat."
"I know Chouji but the Uchiha are hardly that entertaining."
Tsunade shot a glare at her two shinobi.
This was going to be a long meeting.
The discussion had been going on for hours and the only members allowed in were the clan leaders and their trusted council. Both Hinata and Tenten had been offered by their husbands to go in but both had refused.
Even after almost a year of marriage Tenten and Sasuke still were having difficulties. And Hinata understood her friend had refused to go in there to avoid looking at her former teammate, the first boy she had ever loved.
Hinata could understand that so she offered Tenten every bit of compassion she had.
Hinata hadn't wanted to see her family.
"Shouldn't you be resting Hinata?"
"No, Tenten-chan really I'm alright. I just wish this meeting would end."
"Me too. What could they possibly be talking about for that long?"
"I don't do. Itachi says that whenever the clans get together there is always some type of argument."
"I'm a little worried about Sasuke. This is the first time he's ever been at one of those things. I don't want him to get eaten alive. Though it's highly unlikely."
Hinata smiled. "We better go back and help Mikoto-san with the entertainment ne?"
"Yeah, I just wish this would end already."
A social event at the Uchihas' was as bad as a social event at the Hyuggas', Neji reasoned. Both clans were steeped in tradition and as stiff as a human being could possibly be. He could see Tenten from this vantage point talking to her husband in hushed tones. Another arrangement that took someone away from him. But unlike Hinata, Neji had gotten to know Tenten and he had been close to her.
"Cousin, are still thinking of that girl?"
Hanabi was next to him. She was cold and so very much like Haishi it sometimes scared Neji. But he was the one person Hanabi would open up to.
"No just thinking about the past."
"Do you really think father will force us to marry?"
"Come spring, he will. He's already announced it."
"Does it anger you Neji?"
"Why should it? We both have no choice in the matter."
Hanabi nodded solemnly. Her cousin had always been good to her maybe they would learn to love each other. But she had never known love. How could she give it to him, the person who was closest to her?
Hanabi felt a chill run down her spine and leaned closer into Neji. Quietly her protector wrapped his arms around her as they turned to face the head of their clan.
"I presumed you two would be mingling with the other clans. We need strong relations with them."
"The Hyugga already have strong relations, Father."
Haishi prepared to further his lecture when he noticed the child. A small boy of about five years of age was running through the parlor.
"What a disobedient brat," Haishi muttered.
The boy proceeded to climb up the wall.
"Tide, get down from there!"
"Oh Aunt Tenten, I can see everyone from up here."
Aunt Tenten? Neji gazed at the puzzled boy. He didn't look a thing like Tenten.
"Tide," a soft voice echoed in the room, "come down now."
"But ba-chan, I wanted to go to the party and otousan said no."
"And why did otousan say no Tide?" a colder voice asked.
Immediately the boy scampered down. "I don't like being with the others. The girls are too fussy and Misa won't let me play with little brother."
Uchiha Itachi gave his son a warning look. "You can stay provided you stay with Aunt Tenten if she'll let you. Your okaasan needs to rest."
"YAY! Aunt Tenten, Aunt Tenten, can I stay with you and Uncle Sasuke? Please, please?"
"How can I saw no to that face," Tenten laughed as she picked-up in nephew.
"Maybe you can tell me about weapons jutsu. Will you Aunt Tenten?"
Tenten smiled glanced at Itachi who was giving her a dark look before winking at her nephew. "You know I don't ever tell you about things like that."
"Right, you don't tell me about things like just like Aunt Sakura doesn't tell me about how often she hits Uncle Naruto."
Sasuke tried to scowl but Tide shot him back the patented Uchiha glare.
"Nisan, I think your son is trying to steal my wife."
"Not my fault otouto. Now if you'll excuse me I need to get back to his mother."
"Is Hinata alright Itachi?"
"Hai, she's just tired."
Hinata? Neji stared at the departing Uchiha. He noticed the bewildered eyes of his uncle and cousin.
Hinata lying down in one of the side rooms.
"Did Tide make himself a nuisance?" she asked her husband as he walked in the door.
"He's keeping his aunt and uncle occupied," he replied smirking.
Hinata laughed gently. "At least your cousin Misa won't have to watch him right now. She told me he was a handful."
"I don't going to worry about Tide right now. I'm more concerned about my wife."
"I'm just tired," she replied stroking his face. "This little one is troublesome but I think it will be strong from way it kicks."
"Maybe it was too soon."
"No, I wanted to have one soon. Besides…I want this one to be strong like the others and like you. Not weak like me."
He pulled her closer.
"You're not weak anata."
She smiled as she snuggled into him.
The farewells had to be made by the main members of the clan families. Hinata knew this but part of her didn't want to stand up. She had fallen asleep against her husband who as usual was very warm. There something about Itachi and the heat he put off that always made her feel safe enough to sleep.
"Must we go?" she didn't want to sound weak but she pleaded.
"Yes," he answered stoically.
She sighed as he offered her a hand up and led her to the front room where the guests would be exiting.
"Okaasan! Auntie Tenten and Uncle Sasuke told me a secret. You'll never guess what it is."
"If it's a secret then you better not tell me little one."
"Can't you guess," Tide pleaded.
"Tide it's a secret."
"Auntie Tenten is going to have a baby," he whispered.
Hinata just shook her head as her son whispered in her ear, "Don't tell Daddy it's a secret."
A quick glance to Itachi made it obvious that he had heard the entire thing. Her smile froze on her face as she glanced at the line of guests.
She could see them coming in the row of people. The pale white eyes so like her own. She felt her hands beginning to shake.
"Sweetie, I want you to go to bed," she said crouching down.
"Tide, do what you mother told you." Itachi's eyes were hard as he gazed at the approaching Hyugga.
Tide nodded he knew he couldn't win argument against his father. His father was always harsher in public than in private. His mother had once said that his father showed affection differently that other people. Tide could barely understand but right now he knew better than to argue. He would ask his father about it later.
"Goodnight okaasan, otousan."
Hinata hugged the little boy ruffling his dark hair. His beautiful gray eyes shone brightly as he cuddled into his mother's embrace.
"Goodnight little one, I hope you sleep well."
Tide nodded his gaze meeting his father's. "Take care of okaasan," he whispered to her father.
"I don't worry. I'll tell you about it later. Go to sleep Tide."
Tide smiled at his father as he went to bed.
"It was a pleasure to grace your home Mikoto-san," Haishi said his white eyes flashing. "Uchiha-sama, a pleasure as always."
"I was honored by your presence Hyugga-sama. Our discussion must be continued at a different time," Fugaku replied his red eyes activated.
"Indeed Uchiha-sama, I look forward to it."
"Hyugga-sama, I believe you met my sons at the meeting."
"I've met them before. You were blessed with two strong sons Uchiha-sama. I envy you greatly."
Fagaku gave Haishi a predatory smile. "These two lovely young women are my daughters-in-law."
Neji and Hanabi had followed close behind Haishi through the line of people saying their goodbyes and thanking their hosts. Both were silent as their eyes feel on the white-eyed woman. Hiashi held his breathe. Here was the image of his beloved wife.
"Hinata, it is good to see you."
"I—I wwwish I could say the same Hhhhyugga-sama."
Yes, this was Hinata with her shy stutter. He had always known that she would marry into the clan. That was his deal with the Uchiha but for her to marry one the members of the main household was important.
But which brother? Surely not the oldest but the way the young man was looking at him-- Little weak Hinata had married one of the strongest if not the strongest shinobi in Konoha.
He could use this connection.
"I would be honored if you would allow me to visit."
Hinata felt like shaking as she watched her father with his snake-like smile. It was always the same with him. She was a bargaining tool for his power.
She could see Itachi moving closer but she didn't want to hide behind her husband this time. No, this time she wanted to stand on her own two feet.
She shook her head at him. Stay away, her eyes said.
"Hyugga-sama, I regret to inform you that I will not accept visitations from you." Her voice was cold something she had learned from living with Itachi.
Hanabi's face fell. She wanted to know her sister even if she was the weakling her father described.
"Hinata as your father—"
"You have not right to call me that. You were no father to me," her eyes softened as she gazed at Hanabi. "I would however be honored if Lady Hyugga came to visit me."
Hanabi's face immediately brightened.
Haishi face whitened. How dare she disrespect him! He was her father. He was her flesh and blood.
Hinata merely took her leave of them arranging for Hanabi to visit at a later date.
And it was only when she walked away that Haishi realized he had made a mistake.
Hinata smiled at her husband as she walked towards him.
"You didn't have to do that."
"I wanted to anata. Besides I don't want you always to have to protect me."
"You stressed yourself koi."
She smiled at him and much to Hiashi's surprise Itachi gave her a small smile in return.
Haishi watched them his white eyes unveiled.
The sun no longer shined on the Hyugga.
A/N: Thanks for reading as for the SasuTen pairing…..Tenten is one of my favorite kunoichis and I hate SasuSaku.
A/N2: By the way in case anyone was wondering I don't hate Sasuke. I really like his character and Sasuhina is my favorite ship. However, Itachi is my favorite character from Naruto. Go figure. So my next multi-chapter Naruto fanfic that is not part of a one-shot collection will be a Sasuhina. Of course it probably won't be out until the beginning of next year.