Disclaimer:I do not own Naruto or any of its respective characters. This fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only. (Mostly my amusement.) However, if I DID own Naruto, it would be called "Neji and Hinata: Byakugan Babies Galore!" That has a nice ring to it...

Author's Note:This is the beginning of my Oneshot series detailing the evolution of Neji and Hinata's relationship, from childhood to the present (Possession). The series focuses on the many gifts exchanged between the two over the years. I certainly hope you like it. I think this first one turned out pretty well. I think I'll be posting one of these between each chapter of Possession. So, enjoy everyone! And don't forget to review!

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First Love

Hyuuga Neji sat at the small desk in his room, pouring over the scroll of basic ninjutsu. He was still only a boy, but he'd heard the elder Hyuuga refer to him as a genius. He believed in his knowledge and abilities, but just in case, he wanted to learn as much as possible– in half the time it would take a less gifted shinobi.

But, he was still young, and his attention span was less than desirable.

He released a long sigh, leaning back in his chair so far, that the two front legs lifted up. His head lolled back, long hair nearly grazing the hardwood floor, and gazed at his bedroom door from this awkward, upside-down position.

He stared and waited, waited and stared, never taking his eyes off the door. A certain someone was outside, loitering. He frowned. She wouldn't go away.

"Hinata-sama!" He yelled, hearing a giggle in response. "What do you want?" He hissed. He could imagine her pale cheeks flooding with warm color, as she looked down, smiling bashfully. She didn't answer, and he was not amused.

Neji slammed his chair down, steady on the floor. He stood, pushing it back with force, and stalked toward his door. With one smooth gesture, he turned the knob and yanked it open– only to find the hall empty of his annoying little cousin. He grimaced, releasing his breath in a tight hiss.

Another sickly sweet giggle sounded from down the hall. He turned in her direction to glimpse her indigo head poking out from behind the wall of the adjoining hallway. She disappeared soon after, laughing merrily, burning his mood with her cheer.

"Brat-sama," he shot quietly, down the hall. If anyone heard his none too affectionate nickname for the Hyuuga Heiress, he would surely feel the sting of the cursed seal. That didn't stop him, though. Nothing, not even pain, could stop him from expressing his displeasure toward his shy little cousin. "Go away. I'm busy," he scolded.

"Neji-niisan works too hard," she called back at him. "He should come play with me." Again, she giggled.

"No, Hinata-sama," he answered. She stepped fully into the hall, and he had to force the corners of his mouth from turning upward. She was wearing a pastel yellow kimono, with a pink sakura blossom motif snaking up the hem and sleeves. Her obi was stripped, black and white. She was so kawaii. He just couldn't help it, but managed to twist the unwanted smile into a strained smirk.

"Please, niisan?" She drawled.

She knew exactly what she did to him.

"Fine," he answered. "But, we'll play in my room." He turned around before adding: "Quietly," he stressed the word so there would be no misunderstanding.

She smiled brilliantly, and ran behind him, slipping through the door to settle herself onto his futon. He pulled the door closed behind him and frowned at the happy girl. Babysitting was not what he'd had in mind for the day.

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"Niisan has such pretty hair," Hinata ran the soft bristles through his unbound locks. The brush was soft, and much as he hated to admit, her gentle strokes were quite soothing.

He had pushed his desk chair to the edge of his futon, so she could kneel on the soft mattress and attend to his silky, sepia locks. This was their ritual. Whenever their play ended in his room, this is what the final game would be. Hinata would tease his scalp with her dainty fingers, running her hands through the dark tresses, before taking up the soft, silver brush.

The brush was the only gift Hiashi-sama had allowed her to give to him. All the others had been rejected by the Hyuuga Leader, because he thought it unseemly for the Heiress to dote on a lowly Branch member. He had allowed the brush only because Neji did not have one, but mostly because Hinata had been inconsolable. That was the only time Neji could remember his uncle bending to his daughter's will.

She set the brush down.

"Niisan?" She asked, quietly. Her hands were resting on his shoulders as she leaned forward.

"Hm?" He was disappointed. She usually did not stop so soon.

"Your birthday was last week."

"Yes, I know," he said.

She frowned. "I-I wasn't allowed to come. I'm sorry," she whispered.

"There is no need, Hinata-sama." He turned his head to face her. They were so close. Their breath mingled between them. "You would have been bored anyway."

Her head bowed, concealing her blush beneath indigo bangs. "But... I wanted to give you something."

He shifted around so that his body was facing her, as well, lifting her face to meet his gaze. "You know that you are not allowed to give me anything."

"I don't care," she pouted. "Happy birthday!" Then, she kissed him– on the lips.

It was chaste and sweet, though it lingered for several seconds. Just as Neji's shock subsided, and he began to return her kiss, she pulled back. She turned her face away, smiling and blushing deeply, looking demurely up at him through long, dark eyelashes.

His first kiss. His eyes narrowed. She had stolen his first kiss. Wasn't it supposed to be the other way around?

Unsatisfied with this turn of events, Neji reached for her, cupping the nape of her neck and pulling her forward, into his kiss. He pressed against her hard, surprising himself with his own ferocity. Her arms flailed out and she squinted her eyes tightly. His were open, watching her, and his arms were controlled, steadying them both. He pulled her gently to the side as he slipped out of his chair. He sat beside her on the futon, still not releasing her lips from his.

Hinata placed her palms against his chest, pushing, but not really fighting. Neji smirked against her. When he leaned his head back a little, she opened her eyes wide. Her lips were slightly swollen, and very, very pink. His smirk deepened.

"Hinata-sama," he whispered in a smooth way he had never whispered before. "If all your gifts are kisses, I will gladly accept."

She inhaled, beginning to tremble. He still held the nape of her neck, and she tried to pull away.

"I-I... I have to go. I'm tired," she sprang up. "I think I need a nap."

Neji grinned at her nervousness, wrapping both arms around her. He pulled her back toward him, as he crashed down onto the futon.

He was not going to let her escape so easily.

"Go to sleep then, Hinata-sama," he said, snuggling her close. She relaxed after a few moments, and rested her head under his chin.

This day had not turned out the way he'd planned, but he could not think of a better end to his afternoon.

He glanced down at Hinata-sama. "So kawaii," he smiled, admiring her faint blush. She buried her face in his neck, and he chuckled. Hiashi-sama would come looking for her, and he would find them together, snuggled up on his futon. He would be angry. He might even activate the cursed seal. Neji could care less. Hinata-sama was in his arms, for the very first time. She was so warm and comforting, and he would be damned if he let her go now.

Everything could wait. Ninjutsu could wait. Hiashi could wait. But love... and he was sure that was what he felt. He sighed, listening to her breath as it evened out, signaling her acceptance of his embrace, as she slept peacefully. Love could never wait.

Neji slipped a delicate kiss onto her forehead. Indeed, he would never receive a more precious gift than her love. Then, he closed his eyes, memorizing the feel of her against him– and slept.

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Neji awoke to the crashing of his door against the wall inside his room.

"Branch House!" His uncle bellowed. "Where is my daughter?" The Hyuuga Leader stomped inside, catching sight of the two children, tangled together on the futon. Hiashi's eyes narrowed, and Neji grimaced even before he felt the burn of the Caged Bird Seal.

Neji hissed and gurgled as he grasped his head with both hands. He began to writhe around, stirring Hinata from her slumber. She opened her eyes to his, rolling in the back of his head. She screamed.

"Niisan!" She sat up, shaking him to no avail. Tears began to stream from her eyes, falling onto his face. Neji managed to peer up at her.

He forced a slight smile to his lips, and whispered. "It was worth it... Hinata-sama..." She hugged him, and the pain began to subside. Hiashi had released the cursed jutsu.

"You two!" Hiashi accused. "You disgrace this Clan." He stalked toward them, grabbing Hinata roughly by the arm. Neji's barred his teeth at this, rising to clutch his uncle's wrist with force.

"Let go of her!" He hissed.

Hiashi backhanded the boy, then tugged Hinata to her feet. "You try my patience, Branch House," he sneered. He glared at Hinata, and she shrank from his gaze. "You will never come here again. Never!" He squeezed her arm until she winced.

Enraged, Neji sprang from the futon, preparing to strike at his Leader. Hinata pleaded with her eyes, shaking her head vigorously. She begged him silently, and he relented. Neji only stood there, watching as her father dragged her from his room.

His jaw clenched painfully as he shook, grimacing with the desire to punish his uncle, to kill him for daring to hurt Hinata-sama; his Heiress, his charge– his beloved.

"One day," he vowed. "One day... she will be mine."

End