N/A: I may have confused Hiashi with Hizashi somewhere along the way, so please let me know if that's the case, so I can correct it. Oh and it contains some citrus, so be warned!

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, or Neji…T.T

Caged Freedom

Neji looks at her body, crumbled on the ground…almost lifeless. Skin so white it almost made her pale her look darker.

He had to do this, against his will. Because she stood in his way, or better said in his clan's way.

The Hyuuga had decided Konoha needed serious rehabilitation and a change of leader. Who better suited to lead the village than the strongest of its shinobi? It was a selfish, arrogant order. But it was an order given by the main house nonetheless.

His pale eyes search the horizon, remembering Hinata's death. She refused to comply to her father's orders, so she had been locked up. Foolish girl! Had she only stayed in her confinement, she would be alive right now.

But no…no. She had to escape and jump in front of her beloved Naruto right when Hizashi-sama had aimed a fatal blow. Her arteries broke instantaneously. And Hizashi-sama retreated, because even he couldn't stand up to the Demon Fox inside Naruto.

We were hunted down, ANBU's forces tracking every Hyuuga they could find and killing them without demanding explanation.

He never thought she'd make ANBU. That's why his eyes widened in disbelief, when his pursuer removed the cat mask from her face.

Clear blue eyes pierced into his own and his brows knitted.

"Hyuuga Neji." her voice was calm, but determined. "You have been found guilty of treason against Konoha and labeled S-class missing nin."

She stopped. It wasn't like she had to explain to him what that meant.

His posture straightens, threateningly.

"It's best you leave and forget you ever saw me." he tells her.

She narrows her eyes and tries to control her anger. She still fails at it.

"Don't underestimate me. I've come a long way since the Forest of Death."

The memory almost brings a smile to his face.

"Have you?"

He thinks about his situation. His clan's probably dead by now, since they had managed to eliminate even Hizashi-sama. Even if he lived…what would he do? When a bird is kept in a cage for too long, it doesn't fly away even after the gate is opened…because it doesn't know where to go.

"Ino." He remembers her name, as if from a distant dream.

Her eyes widen and her posture becomes more relaxed. He approaches her slowly. She seems startled and undecided at the same time and he wonders if she'd play a game with him.

"I might take you up on the offer you made me five years ago."

He savors the satisfaction of seeing her take a step back. She snaps out of the befuddlement soon enough.

"Keep your distance! I'm not joking."

He grins.

"You know what orders I've been given and you know I can't ignore them!" she finally snaps, but there's a trace of defeat in her voice he doesn't fail to notice.

He wonders why he feels the need to reassure her.

"I was also acting upon orders…not that it matters now."

"So you…did it unwillingly?" she asks. Her eyes show the smallest spark of hope.

"No." he crushes it. "I did what I had to do."

She lowers her eyes for a brief moment and he thinks he could start a new life, one where he could do what it pleases him to. And right now, he thought it would please him to have her.

"Then I will also do…what I have to do." she tells him, looking him in the eyes.

It wasn't the answer he expected. She had taken on battle position, her hand slowly reaching for the kunai pouch.

"If you fight me, you'll die." he tells her.

She ignores him, drawing a kunai. He tries a different approach.

"Is it…my life that they want?"

Her hand trembles slightly.


He knew the answer before asking, but seeing her reactions was way more interesting.

"But I…I'll take you back for interrogation." she continued.

He looked at her with a grin.

"That's just another way of saying I can't take your life, so I'll let others do it. "

"Morino Ibiki is my commanding officer. If I ask…" she stopped mid-sentence, looking elsewhere. "He won't order your death." she said finally.

In a split second he was in front of her, his arm around her waist preventing her from jumping back. She pointed the kunai at his chest, as she looked up at him.

"Life back there is the same as death for me." he whispered, tightening his grip. "So I'd rather you did it."

Her hand trembles visibly as she narrows her eyes. He pulls her into him roughly, but she draws the kunai back enough to avoid piercing his skin. She looks almost frightened at his closeness.

He leaned in and kissed her so agonizingly slow it took her breath away. He was so gentle and delicate…nothing like she ever imagined Hyuuga Neji to be. And his body was trembling, fingers pushing against her flesh as if he barely controlled himself. And she realized she wasn't fighting it, although she wanted to. Did she want to? The kunai dropped from her hand as her fingers sank into his dark mane.

His hands grab her legs and lift her into the air, pinning her against the bark of a tree and she grabs his shoulders, feeling his muscles shift underneath the fabric.

The ANBU uniform took so long to get off, she thought as he undressed with expert movements. And when he was naked as well, his burning skin against her own, she thought she'd never seen anyone as handsome as him. Her nails dug into his skin as he pushed into her and his mouth captured her cry. He was gentle and slow at first, but when she got used to it and tried to match his pase, he grinned. And she saw the burning passion inside of his strange eyes, which dominated and subdued her. His movements became faster and everything else was a blur, except him and his mouth over her own as bit her lip. He was so good and strong…and wild that she felt she couldn't stand anymore of this ecstasy. That she would die if he would go any further, so she moaned louder, almost screaming. His movements intensified and she felt that peak of pleasure, that ultimate moment of total abandoning. Her tense muscles went limp and she felt him supporting her as he moved on, to his own fulfillment.

After it was all over, guilt started to wash over her. As if sensing this, he takes her into his arms and holds her like that.

"Your rank as missing nin in the Bingo book will get you killed." she whispers.

"Would you feel sorry?" he teases.

She shoots him a death glare, because she doesn't want to admit just how sorry she'd feel.

"I don't die that easily." he tells her. "The real question is what will you do?" his pale eyes pierce into her azure ones.

She sighs.

"Come with me." he offers.

She looks at him, surprised.

"Where to?"

"Anywhere…we're free." he replies, looking into the distance.

"You are." she replies quickly. "I have a family and friends and obligations to my village." she crawls out of his arms.

Her gaze is hard now and he realizes he can never truly have her. He would just complicate her life, maybe even endanger it. He gets up and his own eyes turn ice cold.

"As you wish. In that case, leave."

She looks at him, disbelief written all over her face and he knows this isn't going to be easy.

"I got what I wanted…that just goes to show you're no different then you were at the Chuunin Exams."

He sees the mix of emotions written all over her face: disbelief, sadness, anger.

"And you'd better warn your friends against me. I won't show them the same mercy I showed you."

She was boiling now and her eyes had filled with tears. It hurt him to see her like this, but it had to be done…for her sake.

Her fingers formed a quick seal.


"Shinten…" before she could finish the phrase, Neji's palm hit her chest.

She collapsed instantly and he caught her in his arms, laying her on the ground. Her breathing was slow and leveled and her pulse was normal. He had hit the precise spot to make her faint, without doing any damage to her internal organs.

Putting one knee on the ground, he leaned in and kissed her cold lips one last time.

"Don't look for me." he said, more to himself than to her.

He got up and walked away, without looking back.

A/N: I don't know if I'll ever continue this, but I just had to get it out of my system. Phew! I'd appreciate your opinions, as always.