Author: Winter Ashby (rosweldrmr)
Disclaimer:Naruto © Masashi Kishimoto
Rating: M (for language)
Summary: Kiba was flat on his back, a warm body on top of him, straddling him, a cold metal blade to his throat and silky black hair falling over his face. (Kiba & Hanabi) Unrequited Kiba & Hinata
Authors Notes: In this chapter the themes are (in order): Normalcy, Scars, Meeting in Secret, Fate and Tea.
Chapter Two: Five tons of Flax
"Is there an essential meaning behind it ?"
By the time the morning crested in, and Kiba cracked an eye open, she was gone. He hadn't really expected to see her again. But still, the fleeting memories of the night, her hands on his bare skin, Akamaru walking beside them, the dead weight of his arms, it all seemed like a dream. Especially when she told him about the strange book, and hell.
He would have told himself he made it all up, her pants-less entry, falling face-first into the ground, (he really did hope that one was a dream)… except, he'd never heard of this book before. And Kiba knew he wasn't creative enough to make up something like that.
He flexed his hand, experimentally and was glad to see that he seemed to have full usage of his appendage back.
Kiba paid a visit to the Hokage later that day, after a shower and he'd purged every last picture of team 8 from his room. He requested to join ANBU as a solo member. Tsunade narrowed her eyes and steepled her fingers.
"It's customary for members of ANBU to be chosen, Kiba." He watched her honey eyes and the way the swept over his body. She could see the damage inflicted yesterday on his skin, no doubt.
"Then make an exception." He didn't flinch.
He shrugged, as if it meant nothing to him. "I haven't got anything else."
The tattoo was still healing when he got his first assignment. They were all the same. Long missions, dangerous assignments. One day bleed into the next, just a long train of endless days and veiled nights. Protect the dignitary. Kill a rouge ninja. Seduce the sister of clan to steal information. It was all very normal.
Normal for a shinobi.
Kiba took every mission he was assigned, and volunteered for more. If it was dangerous, if it was impossible, if it was stupid, foolish, or any other synonym Shino liked to throw his way, the more likely Kiba was to be the only one to take it. Well, he and Akamaru. He was just as enthusiastic about taking the missions. Though, Kiba had a sneaking suspicion it was because he wanted to make sure Kiba didn't get himself killed. As it was, he was well on his way to amassing a collection of various scars, all of which had classified stories to go with them.
Not long after he heard that Hinata was forced to stop going on missions. Once her father realized she was the perfect bait to dangle in Clan affairs. She was too valuable to him to let her on dangerous C rank missions. An arranged marriage with the heiress to the Hyuuga fortune was a handy weapon to have.
She was now a full time petal that danced on the wind her father blew.
Shino spent most days training, waiting for something. What, exactly, Kiba wasn't sure.
He pretended he didn't care, most of the time. But some of the time, he surprised even himself by thinking not of Hinata, but Hanabi. The way she'd spoken that night. It was haunting. And when he was on long missions in other countries, he often found his thoughts drifting to her.
What was she doing? Would she be strong enough to resist her father's meddling. What she tasted like. Other useless, purely speculative, unnecessary, delusional things like that.
It'd been nearly a year since he left team 8 that Kiba got the worst news of his life.
Hinata was getting married.
He never considered that Hinata might bend so far for her father that she would give up on even Naruto. But on an early autumn morning he found himself in the Hyuuga compound once again. His palms were itchy. Shino had insisted he come. He told Kiba it would be disrespectful not to. Unfortunately for him, the Godaime agreed.
She made sure he was assigned on no missions for the week leading up to it. He was tense and angry. Mostly at Hinata. Because she's pushed him away, made it clear that she didn't want him and now, here she was, marrying some distant cousin to make her father happy.
Most of the village was present. It was the first marriage of his generation. Most shinobi's didn't marry. So it was a rare event that seemed to bring old teammates out of the woodwork.
Of course Naruto was there. He'd just come back from a solo ANBU mission to Sound. He'd returned victorious, and the pride (and talk) of the village when he entered the great gates with the unconscious body of Uchiha Sasuke draped over his shoulder. Even Kiba had to admit, he'd never seen a smile so brilliant in his whole life.
"I can't believe she just gave up." Ino whispered to Sakura who had the good sense not to talk one rows behind an inu shinobi. Kiba 'humpf'ed and tried to ignore them. It wouldn't have been so unbearable if they'd just let Akamaru in. But he was turned away at the entrance. Honestly, he wasn't all that surprised. He envied Akamaru. He was free to spend the afternoon in the forest, hunting while Kiba was forced to watch his worst nightmare unfold right in front of him.
"Gave up what?" Naruto leaned back from his seat two places over from Kiba.
"Nothing." Ino quirked and Kiba could hear her fidgeting.
"Is it just me, or is everyone acting really weird?" Naruto leaned towards Shino and Kiba.
"That is because Hinata is getting married." Shino always did have useless things to say.
"I know that!" Naruto answered, clearly annoyed. "I mean, people are acting weird around me. I know it's no secret how I feel about what Hinata's dad made her do… giving up being a ninja like that, but still. I didn't do anything wrong."
"That's not why they're acting strange." Kiba answered, surprising himself a little. He hadn't really expected to speak, especially not to Naruto.
"What is it then?"
"You can't honestly be that stupid, can you?" Kiba didn't bother looking at him. He was focused on the center of the far end of the room, where Hinata would be entering any minute.
"I don't know what you're talking about Kiba. You're all crazy!"
"Sasuke was right." He heard Sakura behind him inhale sharply. "You are a moron." He finally tore his eyes away from the door to look at Naruto. Shino gave him a withering look, but said nothing else. It was time someone said something.
"Hinata is in love with you, has been for year. Years. Since before we were chuunin, back when we were in the academy. You're the only reason she even became a shinobi." Kiba snorted at the look of absolute horror on Naruto's face. "She said you gave her strength."
"That can't be true."
"Why else do you think she faints and blushes every time you look at her." Naruto's lips gapped, like a dying fish as his mind feebly tried to wrap around what he was saying. "I loved her." Kiba could hear everyone else around him hush at the statement.
"It's not so surprising. She's beautiful, and strong. Compassionate, loyal. She's a good shinobi, and a better person. But when I kissed her, once, she…" Kiba wasn't even sure why he took it that far, what made him confess such a private thing in such a public place. "She loves you, you idiot. But all you ever talked about was Sasuke. So she moved on, let her father force her to become nothing more that a bargaining chip. And now she's going to get sold to the highest bidder, all because you're too much of a fucking moron to see what's right in front of you."
"But…" he seemed to be stuck on that thought for a long moment. Until the door slid open, and Hinata emerged.
It felt like all the air in his lungs evaporated at the sight of her. The sun behind her, her hair was pulled tight around her head. Her hair was decorated with tiny white flowers. She was wearing a dark blue traditional wedding robe, long and covered every inch of her. She smelled like the white powder that was caked on her face, and the root that was smeared red on her lips.
It wasn't how he would've wanted to see her on their wedding day, how he used to image it, but still she was beautiful. More so than he could bare to look at. Kiba turned away, back to Naruto who was still staring at her, dumbstruck. "All I ever wanted was her, and all she ever wanted was you."
Kiba took a long, steadying breath and stood. It took every ounce of courage in him to look at her again. "Hinata," he paused on long enough for every head in the crowd to turn. "You're better than this." And with that, Kiba turned from his isle and walked from the hall. The door was loud as it echoed shut behind him. He knew he'd never be allowed near her again. But he couldn't just let her sell her life away. He had to at least try. Though, he knew the only voice in that hall that had the power to break through to her was Naruto's.
"That was very dramatic."
"And completely pointless, she never cared what I thought anyway." He wasn't surprised to hear Hanabi's voice coming from the shadows by the steps to the hall. But he didn't turn. He liked the feeling of the sun on his back. "You here to kick my ass?"
"No." he measured the rustling of cloth and estimated that she'd stepped out of the shadows. "It's none of my concern who my sister marries, or why."
"You don't care?"
"She's old enough to make her own decisions, and mistakes." There was an undertone to her words that he didn't quite follow.
"And you, how long have you been standing in the shadows?" He asked as he turned.
"Forever." She was dressed in formal Hyuuga robes, hair done up like a doll, same white powder and red lips. Flowers in her hair, dark black liner around her wide, too-white eyes. She wore a purple obi littered with black twisting flowers. The sight of her, dressed so similar, like she might break if he touched her, made him snap.
His feet barely touched the ground; just the tips of his shoes grazed over the dirt as he seized her arm and pushed her back against the steps. He wasn't sure exactly what he was doing. But she didn't pull away, or even make a sound as he pushed her against the steps, back to a wall, and loomed over her. He took a moment to study her face, and off-white eyes. Then he ran his thumb over her lips and up her cheek, pulling the blood red off her lips and exposing her pale skin.
"This isn't you." He hissed in her ear, pulling her face to his shirt to wipe the makeup away. "The powder, these robes, none of this is you."
And to his great shock, she didn't protest. "How would you know?"
"Because, you're not like this."
At that, she leaned back, head scrapping against the concrete tangling and tearing her hair as she looked at him. "I'm not her."
"I know." He did know. Being that close, smelling her, the feel of her chest against his, her cold hands freezing through his jacket where she held his arms just as tighly as he did hers, he knew she wasn't Hinata.
"If she wants to do nothing with her life and marry for the sake of the clan, then that's her decision. But that won't be my fate." Then, she pushed him back. He stumbled, like a toddler and fell at her feet. Ass in the dirt, he looked up through the streaming sunlight at her. She was strong, stronger than he expected. "I won't blush if you get too close, or look away when our eyes meet. I won't bow my head and do as I'm told. And I will never, ever be a replacement for her."
Kiba would have retorted, would have told her she wasn't a replacement for something he'd given up on. But he didn't have the chance.
"STOP HIM!" A booming voice came from the hall.
"Something tells me, the clan will have other things to worry about other than hunting you down, mutt." She spoke sharply and turned towards the doors.
"Run!" The doors swung open to admit a whirl of brilliant yellow hair and a flurry of blue wedding robes. Naruto was carrying Hinata fireman style, over his shoulder, sprinting down the steps, three at a time. They flew past Kiba and Hanabi so quickly; he barely had time to take in the huge smile that was plastered all over Hinata's extremely red face.
"Thanks!" He heard Naruto call as they vanished around a corner, just as the rest of the occupants of the hall came stumbling out. It appeared as though the younger generation were stalling the clan, giving Naruto enough time to get away. Even Neji seemed to trying his best to stall Haishi.
"Which way did they go, daughter?"
"I didn't see."
The look of hatred that colored her fathers face was enough to make the slightest hint of trepidation dance through her eyes. It was unnerving to see her look upended, meek for anyone. She had been so bold, so brash before.
"Insolent –" He raised a hand to Hanabi. But she didn't flinch, didn't even bat an eyelash as he struck her cheek. Her skin puckered red where Kiba had wiped the powder away.
Before Kiba could move to… well to do what, he wasn't sure. Just something, anything. But before he could move to help her/ hurt him, Akamaru was at her side, teeth snarled, hair along his spine stood on end. Even Kiba had to admit, he could look fearsome when he wanted.
"I'm not a child anymore." She told her father as a crowd of onlookers gawked and Hyuugas of all shapes and sizes filed past them, byakugans activated and focused in the direction Naruto and Hinata had fled. "And I'm not the heir to the Hyuuga clan, she just ran away with a jinchuuriki, chichiyou. So now you have nothing. No daughters left to barter with, no heirs to inherent the mighty clan you built on the blood of your own brother… nothing."
And with that, she turned from her father, cheek still red, one hand buried in Akamaru's fur and the other held at her side, trembling slightly. Whether it was from anger or fear he couldn't be sure. She masked her smell with perfumes and floral shampoos. Truthfully, if he'd been trying hard enough he would've been able to decipher the slight changes in her scent. But he wasn't. He was more concerned with how to follow her without making it look like she needed his protection.
He settled for a nonchalant swagger as he passed her father and pointed to his dog. "I go where he does." He said under his breath as he passed.
Her father gave him a look that made his skin want to shrivel and peel from his bones. He quickened his pace and followed her around a corner.
"Wanna get some tea?"
She stood, waiting for him halfway down the road, already wiping the rest of her makeup off on her sleeve. She smiled at him, like she knew he would ask all along.
After that, Kiba didn't volunteer for the 'suicide' missions anymore.
Hope you all liked it. I will be doing a very naughty Kiba/Hanabi in the near future which will be posted at my LJ fanfic community: winter(underscore)ashby (I will also advertise it at the hanabikiba LJ comm) so keep an eye out for it.
AND... if you have me on author alert, I will upload the story here for like 5 seconds before I delete it, so you will know when I've posted it. Then, if you want to read it, you can go to the link of my MASTER FIC LIST on my profile to get the link.
It will be flagged as NC-17 and age restricted, so unless you have an LJ AND are over 17 or 18 - you will just have to click a box that says, "Yes, I'm of age" and then you will be able to read it.