Haha, well is this long-awaited or what?
Some people say that happy endings are easier to write. I guess in a sense they are - I mean they're easier to explain to your conscience. But in other ways they aren't. Bittersweet and sad endings often mirror real life. "Stories"in reality almost never have happy endings. Because... life ends when you DIE, right? hahaha. Tell me death isn't anything but sad...
Anyways, I suppose though, that I personally want a happy ending in my life, that's why I write romance. Wishful thinking. Haha. Hey if it can happen to Hinata, it can happen to me too, right?
Bbbmmm!! Wrong! Chigaimasu! Haha... ah well. That's why this is fiction. :D
And happy endings.
Hinata was dead tired.
But she couldn't fail now. The others were counting on her.
She drew a kunai and formed the familiar seal around it. Her fingers melded together. "Byakugan!"
Her vision sharpened and she immediately hurled the kunai. Her target shuddered and disappeared the instant before her kunai whisked through the branches.
Hinata nearly lost him, but she refocused through the layers and spotted him again, almost immediately.
If it weren't for her Byakugan, she would not have noticed him reappear directly behind her.
She swiveled in a tight circle, ducked under an attacking kunai, and thrust upwards, palm open.
A spurt of blood.
Her palm lay flat on her enemy's chest, directly over his heart.
Hinata choked again. More blood.
She didn't have to look down. She knew the cold metal that twisted in her side was bad.
But she also knew that if she leapt away, she would be too tired and too wounded to launch another attack. Her enemy would have the upper hand. Perhaps permanently.
Hinata immediately snapped her other hand around. And latched onto her enemy's wrist.
She heard a deep chuckle. She tightened her grip.
As if in reply, the kunai slipped another inch inside of her. Then slipped out slightly. Hinata felt her hand shake in exertion as she tried to summon the strength to pull her enemy's hand away.
Her eyes narrowed.
She couldn't fail now. Her team was counting on her. They needed her. They needed help.
She couldn't die now. Couldn't die…
The drip, drip of blood painted the tree branch beneath her feet.
She had to fulfill… her nindo… Promised to keep her friends safe… Never go back on her word…
The world shook and shuddered in and out of black. Hinata fought against the consuming darkness. To succumb to the dark would spell death for her, and more importantly, the deaths of the ones that she had vowed to protect.
The cold metal twisted in her side. Drop after drop of heavy, dark blood splattered down.
Hinata bit back a scream. She could feel herself shaking – struggling to stay standing.
"Still trying to live? Foolish. You should have run away while you had the chance."
Hinata tossed his words aside. "I will never give up. And I will never run away," she said. She was proud that her voice did not tremble as much as she had feared it would.
"Che. Konoha," her enemy scoffed. "Suicidal, aren't you?"
"No," Hinata said, with a calm certainty. "I'm keeping a promise."
The kunai bit deeper into her side. The blood began to splash down heavier and heavier.
Hinata lost control of her lips. She cried out.
For a moment, her vision failed. Her hand blurred in front of her eyes, poised over her enemy's heart.
She blinked rapidly and fought to refocus her Byakugan. Neji-nii-san was able to activate it without the hand seal. She hadn't mastered it fully, but now she had no choice but to try.
Hinata took a deep breath.
She closed her eyes.
Whispered a quick prayer.
And then opened them.
The world melted away. Her enemy's failing chakra system focused into view. Byakugan. She nearly laughed in relief, but quickly sobered.
She could feel the life draining out of her body. The wound in her side sapped her strength. She shifted her vision. From the looks of things, she only had enough chakra left for one shot.
If she didn't finish it, she was dead.
"Oh? Still using jutsu? I'm surprised," her enemy remarked, quite monotone. But Hinata could feel his fear. His hand tried to tug away, but she held fast.
She gathered her strength. Blood splattered down. She could feel the chakra swirling within her core. She focused and refined it, forming her final strike.
"I will not go back on my nindo," Hinata murmured. "I will not go back on my word."
She snapped her head up and looked directly into her enemy's deep, empty eyes.
"I will never run away," she said, and pulled her hand back – an inch, a foot, an arm's length from his chest.
"And," she finished, "I will not be afraid of you!"
Her hand flashed forward. A sudden glimpse of metal from behind her head.
He choked. Blood gurgled in his mouth.
Pain. Hinata cried out. Her neck. Fire and lightning ravaged her body. She felt warmth dribbling down her back. Blood.
Her enemy wavered. He tilted, his dark, empty eyes rolled back and away.
Hinata released his wrist a moment before he tipped over. He fell over the side of the branch, his body limp.
Kunai slipped from both of his hands. Both were stained with blood.
Hinata shuddered at the sickening crunch as his body met the ground.
Then she smiled. She had won. She could only hope that she had done enough to protect everyone.
From a distant part of her mind, she felt her body tilt on the branch. Her body swayed. She could not balance. Then she was too far gone.
And from far, far away, she saw her world blur as she fell.
She could vaguely feel the ground approaching. Faster and faster, Death was closing in. Darkness claimed her sight. Almost…
Then firm hands clasped her body.
A distant, "Hinata!"
Her eyes cracked open once more. Through the black dots, she caught a glimpse of orange.
She knew no more.
"Do something! Please do something!"
"Sakura-chan! Help her!"
"I'm trying! Move! Get me water, bandages from my pack. I need those herbs stashed in the right pocket! Hurry up!"
"Kusso! Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
"You! – Press this here – No! NOT THERE! Here!"
"Hai! – O-oi! – Sakura! That's Hinata's–"
"Hitai-ate. I know. It's in the way. She has a wound on her neck."
"Here give it to me – What else?"
Hinata… Gomen… I couldn't protect you…
There was darkness and there was cold.
Nothing else but nothing – an endless void of nothing.
Just darkness and cold.
She embraced it, fascinated.
It burnt. She shied away. It seemed to banish the numbness of the cold. But it brought pain.
She preferred the numbness.
But the warmth spread. It tingled and stung and scorched.
Pain sizzled through her body. Just when she couldn't stand it any longer – just when she thought that she would burst from the crackling sensation – there was light.
The smallest spark at first, and then it gradually grew brighter. Slowly, slowly, until she forgot that there had ever been darkness at all.
Then the voice…
That voice… It was the voice that she would know anywhere… It was his voice… somebody important… but…
The light grew brighter, blinding and enveloping her.
"Hinata? You awake yet? Please wake up."
The voice was…
The light consumed her.
Her eyes fluttered open.
Blonde hair ruffled in the breeze. Pure, blue eyes pierced hers. They held heart-breaking concern. Then, they met her open eyes and they widened. His eyes sparkled.
"Hinata!" He was inches from her face.
She felt her cheeks tinge slightly, and she smiled in return. "Naruto-kun."
He leaned away, grinning. "Good! You're up!"
Hinata tried to sit up – red pain streaked across her body. She gasped sharply.
Naruto gently forced her down.
"What happened?" she murmured. She remembered falling… orange… and then… darkness?
"Sakura-chan healed you," he said, an admiring shine in his eyes.
Sakura-chan?Hinata looked away. "Oh."
Naruto snapped his gaze back to Hinata. "Wha–?"
She quickly smiled. "It's nothing." Then her eyes widened. "Oh no! Naruto-kun!"
"What? Hinata! What is it?"
"Kiba-kun and Shino-kun and Akamaru are still out there. They were fighting too – and I don't know if they– ITAI!" Hinata collapsed back. She had tried to struggle up, but the throbbing pain in her neck and side forced her to the ground.
"Hinata, it's fine." Naruto put a comforting hand on her arm and slowly eased her down.
"Shikamaru, Ino, and Chouji went to back up Kiba and Akamaru. Neji, TenTen, and Lee went for Shino. That's where Sakura-chan probably is now – She left a while back to help with the healing."
Hinata breathed a sigh of relief. "Yatta," she murmured.
Naruto laughed. "I got left behind. I'm so useless because I can't heal or anything."
"No! Naruto-kun is…" Hinata looked away and smiled a small, sad smile.
She had come to terms with it long ago. He would never remember his promise, and she would have to live with her forced silence. She would never confess again. No matter what Naruto-kun had said about running away, Hinata knew it would break her if he ever turned her away again. Hope had dwindled over the years, and she had finally thought that she had reached a stable point of resignation. No. It would be foolish to have to endure everything again. She knew she would not survive the despair all over again.
He flashed a grin. "Naruto-kun is…?" he prompted.
She smiled back. "Naruto-kun is a very loving person. You came to help us even though you were busy with Hokage training."
"What kind of Hokage would I turn out to be if I couldn't protect my friends?" Naruto leaned back in the grass and tucked a knee up. His headband's ties fluttered in the wind. He smiled down at her. "Arigatou, Hinata-chan."
A companionable silence drifted between them.
Suddenly, Hinata heard Naruto gasp.
"I forgot!" He leapt up.
Hinata tried to follow him with her eyes as he ran a short distance away and snagged a small bag. "What did you forget, Naruto-kun?"
Naruto dashed back and plopped down next to her, cross-legged. He settled his bag in his lap and rummaged around. Hinata tried to crane her neck to get a better view, but the sharp pain forced her to lie still.
"Ah! Found it!" He crowed triumphantly. He dangled something in front of her eyes.
"My hitai-ate!" Hinata exclaimed. Her hand scrabbled up to touch her neck. It was exposed. Sakura must have removed it so she could heal her neck.
Naruto brought the fabric up before his eyes. He squinted at it. He frowned. "It's all ripped and bloody, Hinata."
"I'll fix it when we get back to Konoha," Hinata said calmly. Inside, though, her heart was pounding. She did not want him to find the treasure that she had stored inside of it for so long. If he saw, and still did not remember, it would break her heart. She put out her hand.
"It's ok, Hinata," Naruto smiled brightly down at her. "I'll get some water to wash the blood out at least!"
"Naruto-kun. It's alrigh–"
Naruto was already rummaging in his bag again. He produced a small clay bottle. Hinata could hear liquid sloshing inside.
He opened it and began unfolding her hitai-ate.
A small, wrinkled flower fluttered out. Small flakes broke off and sifted through the air softly – almost like a light snow.
Her hand shot out.
But his hand was faster.
He picked it up. It lay gently in the palm of his hand. He stared at it.
Hinata trembled, readying her heart for the terrible wound that she knew was coming.
She closed her eyes. And braced every fiber in her body. He would not remember. And then her heart would break again – just like all of the times before.
She felt a small tear leak out and travel down her cheek. It hung on the tip of her chin for the briefest of moments before breaking off and shattering on her chest.
Her eyes flew open. There was something in his voice… It was… different…
He was looking at her, his eyes wide.
Blue met white.
And everything clicked.
He leaned down, hesitantly – as if she had been the one not to remember everything. A small smile fluttered across his lips as he searched her face. "I always keep my promises. Isn't that–"
"Our nindo?" Hinata whispered back, barely daring to breathe. Barely daring to hope. Another tear found its way to her chin and hovered there – shivering.
His hand was on her cheek, wiping the tears. Then it was pressed to the side of her face, holding her close.
Their lips met.
When they broke away, it was only to breathe. Hinata smiled. He remembered. After so many years…
"I meant it when I said it," he murmured into her ear. "Always and forever, ne? Hinata-chan."
Hinata replied by bringing him in for another kiss.
Honestly guys... What do you think?
No, sorry, at the moment, I can't write a sequel to this one. I'm working on too much stuff right now. I can't take any more... haha...
If you're a Bleach fan, though, I'm going to be putting up a GinMatsu soon, so look forward to that. :D
And I'm still continuing my SasuSaku. I just need to find the courage to type up the next chapter.
I guess I'll see you all later! Check out some of my other stuff. It needs lovin' too:D
You've all been such faithful readers. Thanks for convincing me to finally let Hinata have a happy ending.
Maybe karma'll kick in and finally grant me mine. Haha, jk.
I'm too young to say weird stuff like that.