Crescendo in the Background

Chapter 1: A New Home

"If you could just sign here, then the house is yours." The real estate agent said silently encouraging Neji to sign. He didn't need another moment to think about the offer. It was too good an offer to pass up. The house that he was buying, for him and his cousin Hinata, was conveniently located close to both the hospital that he would be working at and Hinata's school.

Taking the contract from the agent's hands, he pulled out a pen from his breast pocket and signed the contract when the agent offered his back as a flat surface. The real estate agent smiled happily at his accomplishment before bidding farewell to the new house owner. Neji only nodded a goodbye before taking in his new house. Well, his and Hinata's.

He took another look at the traditional Japanese house and its surroundings. The house was fenced off and has a gravel path from the sidewalk leading to the front foyer. To the left and right of the path was lush green grass.

Neji walked the path toward the house and into the foyer. He took off his shoes and placed them carefully to the side. The foyer was small and had a hallway that was connected to the living room to the right. On the left was a staircase to the second floor, which held two bedrooms. One for Neji, and the other for Hinata. The bathroom was located at the end of the hallway. Crossing the living room, Neji made his way into the kitchen. On the left of the kitchen was a sliding door that opened to the yard outside.

Neji opened the sliding door and decided that living in the peaceful looking house wouldn't be so bad. What he liked the most about the house was that it came fully furnished. He didn't have to bother Uncle Hiashi for some furniture financing. He could solely focus on his medical career. Hinata, although she would be living with him, will be financially taken care of by Hiashi.

Neji scoffed at his uncle. Although he respected him as a successful entrepreneur that practically built the Hyuuga Corporation with his own hands, he disliked the way he treated his eldest daughter. Hinata might not look like she could fill the shoes of her father, but Neji has confidence in his cousin. She might be meek but she was strong-willed.

Once Neji was allowed to live on his own, he couldn't just leave Hinata. With much convincing, Hiashi allowed Hinata to live with him. The only thing left was to find a suitable house. And what luck! He found such a bargain in the petite Japanese house.

Neji sat down on the little balcony outside the kitchen and meditated. He'll pick up Hinata from school today, he mused. Then he'll show her their new home.


Hinata sighed for the umpteenth time glancing at the clock hanging above Kakashi-Sensei's head. Having physics last period killed her. And the only one who made physics worthwhile was absent today. Naruto-kun, why did you have to be on a fieldtrip today? Hinata mused. She bit her lower lip as she poked her fingers together.

"Still missing him, Hinata?" Ino teased. Hinata gasped and blushed red as her lab partner laughed at her embarrassment.

"N-n-nani? Iie Ino-chan.. I just… well.. yes." Hinata stuttered lowering her head on their shared desk.

"It's okay. Love makes us to stupid things. I just wish Sasuke was in this class. It's so boring with no one to drool at." Ino replied pouting as she crossed her arms over her mahogany sailor shirt and brown checkered vest that held the Konoha Preparatory School crest, she already pulled off the bow periods ago.

"Tsk, tsk. Troublesome." Shikamaru interjected. Ino glared at him from across the aisle. "I'm glad Sasuke isn't here. As if Naruto isn't bad enough, we would have to deal with Sasuke's fan girls."

Before Ino could smart a reply, the bell rang saving Hinata from the almost argument. She jumped up from her seat and squeaking a goodbye to Ino dashed out the classroom.

I hope Neji-nii didn't have any problems looking for a house, Hinata worried. They haven't been having good luck looking for a house that would be walking distance to her school and not far enough from Neji's hospital. While Hinata started counting off her homework and putting books into her bag, she didn't notice Kiba sneak behind her and cover her eyes.

"Guess who," Kiba whispered in a low tone near Hinata's ear making her shiver.

"Ah.. um.." Hinata racked her brain trying to connect the voice to the face. "Sh-shino-kun?" She guessed lamely knowing that she got it wrong.

"It's me Hinata-chan!" Kiba yelled turning her around so she could see him.

"Oh, Kiba-kun… umm H-how was your day?" Hinata asked turning to close her locker.

"Boring. Stupid Naruto for going on that English field trip. I didn't even know he was a fan of Shakespearean theater. I bet you he only went because his girlfriend went." Kiba complained putting his hands behind his head as he waited for Hinata to finish with her locker.

"G-g-girlfriend?!" Hinata squeaked unexpectedly banging her locker close.

Kiba winced and realized that Hinata didn't know.

"Ahh… well you see, Naruto asked out Sakura yesterday and she said yes. They're the couple of the day. I'm sorry Hinata."

"Oh," Hinata whispered, sadness filling her lungs. Naruto-kun going out with the prettiest girl in school, Haruno Sakura. Somehow that didn't surprise Hinata.

"Hey, don't be so down Hinata. He's not worth you anyway." Kiba said trying to lighten up Hinata's mood. He didn't like seeing her down on herself. He especially didn't like how she had a crush on stupid Naruto. "Hey, how about we grab a bite to eat today. I don't have martial arts today since I sprained my ankle and some food will cheer you up! We could even pick up Akamaru from home. What do you say?" Kiba said smiling excitedly.

Hinata started walking to towards the school exit with Kiba following her trying to convince her to eat with him.

"I don't k-know," Hinata mused chewing on her lip. Neji still probably needed help looking for a house. "I don't think I can… Neji-kun still hasn't found a house yet."

"Oh," Kiba replied a little saddened. But he brightened immediately thinking about how good it would be for Hinata if she moved out of her cold house. "Well, maybe next time then? Alright I'll call you!" Kiba then waved bounding off to annoy Shino since he's the only friend he had that wasn't in the martial arts club.

Hinata waved goodbye then started for the bus stop when she noticed a group of squealing, giggling girls. Curious, she slowly walked toward it wondering if Sasuke made an appearance at school. He hasn't been to school in months. Rumor has it that his entire family moved and he's busy planning to follow them. She always wondered why he was still enrolled in Konoha if he was going to move. Suddenly, her musings were cut short when she realized who it was the girls were drooling over.

Leaning on one of the school gates' column was Neji. With his hands in his pockets and silky ebony hair slowly dancing in the wind, he projected an air of sophistication enhanced by his black pants and white jacket suit and undershirt. When he spotted her he smiled making half of the swooning girls faint.

"Hinata-chan," Neji spoke with his deep voice making more girls faint. "I'm here to escort you home."

Confused and slightly embarrassed, Hinata nodded allowing Neji to walk up to her and take her bag from her. He then motioned for her to follow him. Hinata stood dazed for a moment then followed after leaving the disappointed girls who realized that it was Hinata the handsome man was after.

"N-neji-nii, where are w-we going? The bus stop is the other way." Hinata said walking up to Neji. He smiled at her and replied,

"I finally bought a house."

"Oh that's wonderful!" Hinata cried excitedly clapping her hands together. Neji watched his cousin as she began to daydream of the new home. He smiled to himself as he too began to imagine a life with Hinata.

After two or three blocks of walking in comfortable silence, Neji motioned to Hinata that they've arrived. As Hinata took in her new home, she can't help but feel both excitement for the new found sanctuary and a lingering feeling she couldn't quite figure out. She ran excitedly toward the entrance and quickly slid the shoji door open.

However, as soon as she stepped foot into the home, a dark ominous presence seemed to fill the home. Hinata stopped dead in her tracks. Despite the beautiful appearance of the house, something was wrong. No house should ever feel this dark. Not even her old house; it was cold not dark. But this house…

"What is this feeling?" Hinata whispered as she wrapped her arms around herself. Then suddenly, she realized what the feeling was. It was the lingering aura of death.



A/N: Well, that's that for my very first chapter of Crescendo in the Background. What did you think? It's not much but I'll be continuing this story and hoping to finish it. I appreciate reviews! Thank you!