Hi there readers! It's time for another chapter. I know this is also late but I have great reasons and that is the fact that, for one, I was at camp. There was no wireless or anything so there was no way possible for me to update after I wrote and this is the result. Also, it was for church and so I didn't want anyone annoying me about writing about vampires and so I kinda put it off. Also, even though I carried the laptop there intending to write, I never got the chance to as the damn camp was too tiring and exhausting to think of anything other than getting back home. After I left, I needed a couple of days to get myself together— not going to work included— and then since I'm starting university in a couple days, I needed to go to get some stuff sorted out for it to confirm I'm going. That process was also hell, as they misspelled my name and stuff.
Anyway, this is already super long but there will probably be more to write by the time I finish this so let's get to it. Also, there will be a time skip soon, if not in this chapter, but I hope it still flows. Gosh, I feel terrible that I keep breaking my promises…
Excuse any errors or formatting issues and R&R‼!
Chapter 57: Hollow
Hinata was up and ready very early.
It was the morning Hanabi was going to rehab and Hinata wanted to make sure everything was in place. Neji was up also, helping Hanabi pack her clothes and other essentials.
Hanabi was a pure mess all morning. She hardly ate anything and threw up twice as much as she usually did. Her face was puffy from crying and her eyes were swollen. Hinata wished she could just hug away all the problems her sister was going through.
Hinata asked the cook to make breakfast for Neji and Hanabi, the latter picking at her cereal, and right after that, they were on their way to the rehab center as they were to arrive for eight and it was a while away.
Neji drove since Hinata was just as much of a nervous wreck as Hanabi was and since she had finally called to take her driver's test, she did not want to jeopardize it by crashing into a tree while deep in thought.
The ride to the rehab center was a tense one.
Neji's knuckles were white on the steering wheel as he drove in autopilot it seemed.
Hanabi asked to pull over only to dry heave twice because she had thrown up what little breakfast she'd eaten before leaving the house. She was constantly chewing her nails.
As for Hinata, she was sure she was having some kind of stroke because a headache did not feel like her head had been split in two by a hacksaw.
Pulling into the parking lot, the three just sat there staring at the foreboding, pale blue building.
"This is it," said Hanabi at last.
"Are you sure you're ok with this?"
It was Neji who'd asked.
Hanabi nodded tiredly. "I'm sick of being sick," she said. "I just want to get in, get better, and get out."
With that, the three got out of the car and made it to inside the large building. Walking the pathway was surprisingly peaceful.
There were benches situated outside where people of various ages were sitting alone or in groups playing chess or other calming games under the cool shade of large leafy trees.
Hinata glanced at Hanabi as they went and saw the nervousness rise. Holding the younger girl's hand, Hanabi's steps faltered before she held Neji's and they continued.
Up the stairs to the main office they went and straight to the receptionist at the front desk.
"Ohayo," said Hinata. "My name is Hyuuga Hinata and I believe we spoke on the phone this morning about my sister Hyuuga Hanabi coming here."
The woman greeted Hinata and the others, then proceeded to leaf through some files.
"Hai," she said. "Please hold one moment."
One phone call later, the receptionist turned her attention to Hinata once more. "Hanabi's counselor, Tamiko, will be here to great her shortly after she is in her room. Also, someone will be down to get Hanabi's belongings to her room."
"Arigatou," said Neji.
"Would you like to wait with Hanabi until she is settled in or will you be leaving?" the receptionist asked.
Both Neji and Hinata looked at Hanabi to see what she preferred.
"I guess you can stay until my stuff is in my room," said Hanabi offhandedly. Hinata knew the girl was just putting up her wall but allowed her to.
They were asked to have a seat in the waiting room until someone came down to get Hanabi's things.
Neji went with the two men in uniform and came back with everything. Hinata and Hanabi then followed them along the long corridors and went up three floors on the elevator.
"Here we are," said one of the assistants. "Room three sixty."
The white door was opened to reveal a modest light cyan colored room. The furniture was very simple; there was a window that showed part of the center's grounds and the nearby city.
It was a lot smaller than any of the rooms at home, except for maybe the broom cupboard and Hinata looked at Hanabi to see her reaction.
The girl shrugged her shoulders.
Hanabi was definitely not pleased about it but Hinata was glad she didn't play the spoiled card.
The men left the three to themselves with a word that the counselor would be with them shortly.
Neji moved to unpack Hanabi's things and the sisters decided to help.
"It's a very small room, isn't it?"asked Hinata.
"Che, it's a good thing I'm not freaking claustrophobic," said Hanabi, then she sighed. "But I deserve it so I'll suck it up and be out of here in no time."
Hinata smiled and saw Neji was doing the same.
Not twenty minutes after that, there was a knock at the opened door and a blonde woman peeked inside.
"Ohayo, may I come in?"
Neji gave the okay and the woman walked in, arm outstretched to shake each of their hands.
"My name is Tamiko and I'll be Hanabi's counselor for the time she is here," said the blonde.
Neji and Hinata also introduced themselves before all of them sat in the thinly cushioned couch at the tiny coffee table.
Tamiko took the bag off her shoulder and took out an envelope. "I have Hanabi's information here so I'm going to go through it before you leave," she said.
Tamiko then proceeded to indeed go through every detail which ended in Hanabi's sitting in the very room she was in. Everything was accurate and on point.
"Now that we've established all of the information here is correct, let me just say to you that Hanabi's case is one that is very delicate," said Tamiko. "I will make sure with everything I possess she will come back to you as she was before."
"Arigatou," said Neji. "We hope we can hold you to those words."
Hinata hoped so as well. This rehab center was considered one of the best in Konoha.
Hinata and Neji were then made aware of the schedule set out for Hanabi but both were disappointed there was to be no visiting during Hanabi's rehab.
When they were done, Tamiko led them to the exit of the building and shook both their hands. Hanabi was a few steps away.
"It was nice meeting you both," said Tamiko. "I will see you at the end of Hanabi's stay when you pick her up." She looked Hanabi's way. "You can say your goodbyes now, Hanabi. I'll be in your room waiting."
That said, Tamiko left, leaving the three alone.
Hinata bit her lip, not knowing what to say and it was Neji who started.
"Well we must be going now," he said. "We can't hold up your healing process, can we?"
Hanabi nodded silently.
"I know we can't visit but we'll call you whenever we can and you do the same," said Hinata.
"We're going to miss you," Hinata said finally.
That seemed to cause something to snap in the younger girl and immediately she closed the distance and hugged Hinata tightly, Hinata not missing the tears.
Hinata hugged her sister just as tightly and Neji came to them soon afterwards.
Hanabi sniffed softly, trying not to let it be known she was crying.
"I'm so sorry!" she said almost brokenly. "I'm going to miss you."
"We're going to miss you too, Imouto," Hinata said affectionately. "We'll be counting the days until you're home again."
Hanabi backed away, quickly wiping her eyes and cheeks.
"Take care of my little niece or nephew," Hinata told her.
Rubbing her stomach absently, Hanabi gave the faintest hint of a smile. "I will."
Hanabi then gave one last wave to them as she walked away.
That was three months ago and Hinata could still remember the look on her sister's face as she bravely walked away.
It clearly had been tearing her apart to look so strong for both her and Neji but she'd managed it.
Hanabi was scheduled to be home today, which was now a month longer than she was expected to be in rehab.
The younger girl had called and informed them one morning a couple weeks in and it nearly gave Hinata and Neji a heart attack to hear of the news.
Hanabi had been crying but Hinata had not asked about it or let on that she knew. Hinata herself had been crying silently to the point where Neji had to take the phone away.
Whatever it was that had caused Hanabi to stay longer had to be serious. Maybe her addiction had been worse than Hinata thought it was or the situation of being pregnant was getting to her.
Whatever it was it was over now, as she was deemed ready to return home.
Hinata and Neji made sure every part of the house was cleaned and searched for any stash around the house and further got rid of all prescribed drugs and everything else that might cause a relapse as they had been instructed to do.
Neji had been gone a while now, as he was going to pick up Hanabi while Hinata set about making a nice meal to welcome the youngest Hyuuga home.
Hinata was suddenly brought from her thoughts when her phone went off. Looking at the ID, she saw it was Sasuke. He'd been a pillar of support for Hinata, apart from Neji while Hanabi was in rehab.
Hinata had not told Ino anything about Hanabi's condition yet and knew the blonde would be pissed but thought it was best as few people know about it as possible.
Speaking of Ino, she was as happy as could be now that she and Itachi were spending more time together.
Hinata knew Itachi wanted to take it slow to make sure Ino was truly going to be his mate, from what Sasuke had said, but Hinata knew Ino was more than ready.
The two had taken up eating lunch at school together and going on a few dates over the past months after Itachi had taken Ino into the city and Ino was sure to tell Hinata every detail of every moment she and Itachi spent together, to Hinata's amusement.
"Moshi moshi?" said Hinata.
"Hey, how are you doing?" came Sasuke's voice.
"I can't wait to see Hanabi," said Hinata. "And I miss you."
Hinata had not seen Sasuke for the week apart from school and it was now Saturday. School had taken up all of their time but at least they were catching up really well.
"I miss you more," said Sasuke, melting Hinata's heart before the sound of Tayuya's voice was heard in the background. "Go the hell away! I'm talking to Hinata. Don't give me that face!"
Hinata leaned on the counter as she laughed. Tayuya stayed a little longer than anyone thought she would. Both Hinata and Sasuke were quite curious why and happened to find out the redhead was more than interested in her very own cousin, Neji.
The aforementioned was not too pleased to learn of Tayuya's crush on him, since he was not fond of her bold personality and swearing. He did everything to avoid her, as she visited Hinata regularly and stressed on his and TenTen's relationship.
That did nothing to sway the girl though and Hinata could tell Neji was slowly coming around.
Believe it or not, Hinata actually liked how the two looked together and she didn't see TenTen and Neji getting very far anyway.
Hinata had always gotten the feeling Neji was not into TenTen the way she was into him so she didn't feel guilty at all for cheering Sasuke's best friend on.
"So I thought you would have gone for Hanabi,?" said Sasuke.
"Iie, Neji is on his way for her," Hinata told him. "They should be back soon and I'm cooking up a big feast for her."
"Ok, I'll call you later then so you can tell me how the welcome was."
After their goodbyes, Hinata set about finishing the meal as quickly as possible and did it just minutes before she heard Neji's car pull into the driveway.
Hinata's heart beat fast as she thought of how Hanabi would look after not seeing her for so long. Last time it had been two months when she'd gone to the Hitomi Realm and Hanabi had taken a turn for the worse. This time, she was hopefully better.
The door opened and footsteps were heard as both Hanabi and Neji came in and the footsteps became louder as they came closer.
"She's in the kitchen," Hinata heard Neji say.
Finally, Hanabi showed herself by peeking into the kitchen before barreling in.
Hinata caught her sister and hugged her fiercely. "I'm so glad you're back!"
Hinata pushed the younger girl and held her by the shoulders.
Hanabi's weight was back up, almost to where it had been previously. Her cheeks were rosy with happiness, even though her eyes held a hint of sadness.
"You look great," Hinata told her.
Hanabi nodded. "I feel great," she said.
After that, the three sat down to eat, excluding Hinata on the eating part.
Hanabi told Hinata and Neji everything she could about rehab and Hinata had to say they did a wonderful job; she would have to send a thank you letter.
The dinner went well and everyone decided to sleep in Neji's room.
All settled in, the three continued to talk when Hinata suddenly remembered.
"How's the baby doing?" she asked into the dark.
There was dead silence in the room before Hanabi answered.
"…I lost the baby," Hanabi whispered, rubbing her stomach slowly. "The stress was too much."
Neji and Hinata both turned to Hanabi.
"Are you ok?" asked Neji, concern lacing his words thickly. "Why didn't you tell us something?"
"I'm okay with it now, I guess," said Hanabi. "I just know now I really wasn't meant to have a child yet and I didn't want you to panic."
"Is that why you had to stay longer than planned?" asked Hinata.
There was another bout of silence.
"I felt…hollow after everything happened," Hanabi said.
Hinata reached to pull the younger girl closer. "Gomen, I wasn't there for you."
"It's okay," said Hanabi. "I really needed that alone time to get myself together, ya know?"
The words were barely out of Hanabi's mouth before a yawn was stifled.
"You're tired," stated Neji softly. He pulled the covers up to their chins. "Let's get some sleep and talk more in the morning."
"Okay," Hanabi agreed easily.
It took Hinata a long time to fall asleep after that though.
Hanabi had lost the baby without even meaning to and she wasn't even there to help her through it.
It was clear Hanabi was better now and Hinata just hoped it would stay that way.
At least everything was looking up. Hanabi was better, school was going well, Ino and Itachi were on their way to being in a relationship and she and Sasuke were very much still in love.
Sighing, Hinata snuggled closer to her sister and tried to get some sleep, as she knew the topic of Hanabi's miscarriage would be brought up again in the morning.
And that is the end of the chapter, guys! I really hope it was worth the wait and didn't feel rushed or anything. I've been super busy and lots of stuff has been going on as I said at the top but bear with me, I know I always seem to fall short of keeping my promises for one reason or another.
Remember you can follow me on Twitter RisaPooh13. I'd like to hear from you guys.
If you have not read Hina hime, A Happy Ending, or Following the Sun, please do.
Until next update…
Please review, I love it when you do!