Sasuke crashed onto the ground by a sudden fierce kick of Kana's. He didn't think that she could recover so fast since she looked quite sick the day before, and he had felt guilty for asking her to spar with him. But despite her ill state, her power seemed to have multiplied. She was so much stronger than before, her blows were confident and strong, and she moved with a sure ease. This was the 11th time she had knocked him down. Frustration blinded him, and he lunged at her. She sidestepped and slammed her hand to the back of his neck and held him there. A weak smile tugged at the corners of her lips.
"I think that this is enough for today." She helped Sasuke up to his feet, and handed him a bottle of water, which he gulped down extremely quickly. He wiped the sweat off his face with a towel, and when he put the towel down from his face, Kana was nowhere in sight.
When Hinata had regained her memories, she had also remembered the way she fought, and became familiar and confident with it again. The sudden leap in her skill levels had surprised Sasuke, she knew. But she didn't intend that to happen. Hinata wanted to help Sasuke get stronger to kill Itachi, and she knew that she had little time before the Akatsuki would finally hunt her down. She wanted to get Sasuke away from the snake sannin, and throw him back in Konoha. She didn't want him to suffer the fate she would.
Hinata knew that in the next year, Orochimaru would want to take over Sasuke's body. The thought of that ran shivers down Hinata's spine. She would never let Orochimaru have Sasuke. Perhaps to do that, she had to teach Sasuke everything she knew. Including Akatsuki secrets. Just anything…anything.
With a sigh, Hinata rolled onto her feet, and shoved her hands in her pockets, and carefully stuck into the section of the building where Juugo was being held. With no difficulty, she slipped in past all the other prison cells, and finally came to the one Juugo was held in.
Rapping on the metal bars lightly, Juugo's pale face filled her view, and she smiled the same smile she always smiled. A friendly smile was returned to her on the face of the poor blond boy. She kneeled down onto her knees so that she was at eye-level with Juugo, who was sitting against the cold wall. "How are you, Juugo?" she said softly. "I'm doing well," he replied casually. It was the way that they had always started their conversations.
But Juugo wasn't fooled by the familiarity. He saw a different in Kana. She wasn't so lost. Finally he decided to speak of it, "I take it, you've regained your memories?" Kana's face fell, a small flit of guiltiness spead over the cold face of hers. She felt her head nod slowly and lightly. Juugo smiled, happy for his friend. "Then what is your name?"
"Hinata." She seemed to hardly want to speak now.
The prisoner could see that she was troubled. It was too obvious. So he forced her to tell everything, her past life, the change she felt, everything. By the time she finished, her eyes were threatening to cry. It was taking so much of her strength to fight back those stubborn tears. Juugo sat quietly trying to take in everything once she left, since she had been staying too long. Sasuke broke the seal on her emotions and heart. And she's regained her memory too…his thoughts trailed off and finally…he sent a prayer to Kami asking that everything would turn out for the best for Kan…er Hinata.
Orochimaru had discreetly been watching the sparring match between Kana and Sasuke. A scaly smile haunted his face, and Kabuto stepped out from behind the deadly shadows, light glinting off his glasses. "Kana…no…Hinata has regained her memories, Orochimaru-sama." The sannin hissed, "I can see that. But it's too bad, because I had more planned for her. But I believe that there is one more task that she can complete." His laughter filled the room, and could send shivers down anyone's spine. Kabuto lightly chuckled along with Orochimaru, who seemed very pleased.
Hinata's cold icy breath invaded the air around her as she sat with her back against the trunk of the tree. Her ghost-like eyes gazed onto the world around her, taking in everything she saw, heard, and felt. The bare trees were lifeless, and the cold howl of the wind blew mercilessly against the snow-covered ground. Small animals scurried for shelter with futile attempt. The Hyuuga's eyes rose to the mist-colored sky that seemed empty. No birds sang or screeched, and the only thing heard was the moan of the wind. Slowly, her eyes shut and for a moment, she longed to feel tears slip down her white dry face. But her tears were frozen and they wouldn't fall, so she bore with the pain again, just as she always did.
Sasuke, feet infused with chakra, stood against the trunk, his face beside Kana's. His throat was silent, for he felt he shouldn't disturb her, no matter how hurt she looked. A sigh escaped her soft lips, and her head turned to meet Sasuke's stony pale face. A smirk spread over his own lips and, releasing the chakra at his feet, he sat beside Kana. A ghostly faint smile crossed the white face of Kana, and Sasuke narrowed his eyes in worry. "Kana…what's wrong?"
Without a word, she shook her head, and turned her gaze onto the sky again. He could see icy tears at the corner of her eyes, unable to come out, but then her soft beautiful voice said, "Sasuke…no matter what happens, will you…" Her voice broke, and feeling a wave of dread, Sasuke rested his hands firmly on her shoulders, and turned her to face him. "Kana, what is it?" Her eyes met his in a shaking confidence, and she forced herself to continue, "Will you understand why I do what I do?" Sasuke tilted his head, confused, and Kana, sighing, changed her question, "Will you love me?"
The prodigy softened and relaxed, pulling the frail girl into his arms, trying to give his warmth to her cold marble skin. His fingers ran through her hair, and he felt her reach out for his comfort. "Idiot. Of course I will." He felt her smile against his chest, and heard her whisper so very quietly, "Thank you, Sasuke. Thank you." There was no need for her to say that she loved him too. He already knew too well.
Karin watched in the distance as her crush and her rival sat in each other's arms. Fury roused her soul and she longed to reach out and crush Kana. Suddenly, Kabuto appeared with the familiar smirk, and he ordered her, "Go get Kana. Orochimaru wants to talk to her. Oh, and by the way…you might as well give up on Sasuke." Her glare made him chuckle as he walked off. This will be interesting, Kabuto thought.
The red-headed girl thought back on Kabuto's teasing words, and sighed in defeat. Maybe he was right…
Hinata walked past strange green containers. When she looked closely, she could see deformed bodies, or normal humans in those tanks. Orochimaru had wanted to see her fight one of these creatures, but a specific one, Suigestsu. He was said to be a very tricky one. Hinata sighed. She was tired of pretending as if she was still some lost child, and she wanted to just sneak up behind Orochimaru, wherever he was, and strike him dead. But she knew, first, she had to teach Sasuke at least what she knew.
A very large tank came before her, and she knew that the one in there was the one she should fight. Unlatching the lock to the container, she stepped back, letting a strange-colored liquid flow out, along with a pale body. "Ugh…finally…" a voice came from that body. A shark-like face with sharp teeth and silvery hair peered at her with a teasing face. "I guess you're the one that Orochimaru was talking about. I have to fight you for my freedom, eh?" He chuckled and it was the obvious I-can't-believe-I-have-to-fight-a-girl-like-you chuckle.
All of a sudden, something sharp whizzed past his ear, and a few pieces of his white hair fell, chopped off. A growl erupted from his throat and he muttered, "It's on." He pulled a large sword from the air around him, and spun it in his hand. As it spun, a pool of water also spun around the tip, and snatched out at her. Hinata side-stepped it, and with a flick of her wrist, the water shattered and became a useless puddle. Suigetsu smiled, "So it seems as if you have some tricks up your sleeve."
With ease and grace, Hinata drew both of her katanas, and moved herself into a battle stance, beckoning him to attack. With a grin, Suigetsu lunged forward with an incredible speed, but, however, not where as Hinata couldn't follow him. Needles of ice suddenly started attacking her, but she dodged them all easily. Quick hand signs created a water barrier around her. But when the needles stopped, Suigetsu's sword pierced through her barrier. But her sword swept in an arc and deflected the incoming attack.
She leaped back a few meters, and began calculating. Her Byakugan had told her that taijutsu would be of no effect, since his body was…strange. I should probably finish this quickly. If I let this drag too long, he might find an advantage over me.
As she fought a defense against his rash attacks, Hinata's mind began determining possible jutsus, outcomes, and circumstances. Finally, she planted her feet on the ground, and faced Suigetsu. The shark-like boy smiled and attacked again. But he couldn't before Hinata was plunging the tips of her fingers into his tenketsu. He crumbled to the ground, and he couldn't stand back up with no matter how much strength he used. He forced himself to look back up at the emotionless mask of Hinata. Her fingers were folded across each other, but only two remained upward, pressed against each other.
"Seal." Suigetsu felt an icy coldness wash over him, and it was like his soul and spirit was being locked away….
"Congratulations on defeating Suigetsu, Kana-chan," Orochimaru said with falseness. "And thank you for saving us the trouble of locking Suigetsu back in. You may go now."
Kana bowed, and left the room silently, leaving Orochimaru and Kabuto alone. Kabuto smiled as the sannin said, "She really is one of the Akatsuki, isn't she?" A snake-like chuckle sounded and Kabuto grinned even wider, and pushed his glasses up his the crook of his nose.
"Oi, Kana, where have you been?" Sasuke said with a bored tone. Kana smiled lightly, without him noticing, but that smile disappeared when his eyes met hers, demanding for an answer. "Orochimaru-sama wanted me to complete a task for him." "Ah…I see. Then spar with me." She tiredly gazed at Sasuke, and shook her head delicately. "Gomen, Sasuke. Maybe another time…I'm…I'm tired." Sasuke raised an eyebrow. Kana never shows that she's tired, let alone say.
Genlty shutting the door behind her, Hinata's legs gave way beneath her, and she fell to the ground. Her head ached, and she felt exhausted from using that seal. Her body had yet to become accustomed to such powerful jutsu again. It had been asleep for too long.
Suddenly blood splattered splashed across the floor, and her hand reached for her mouth. Her throat choked on the blood coming through, and her vision started fading. What's…what's happening to my body? The blurs turned colors, and the last thing she saw the stone of the floor.
A strange haunting feeling came over Sasuke and the first thing he thought of was Kana. Something felt extremely wrong to him. His feet began moving on their own, and started to pick up speed unil he was at her door. He pushed the door open hastily, and saw Kana on the ground, with drops of blood spilled beside her. He was immediately at her side, and pulled her up into his arms to examine her. Her face was deathly white, and her skin felt cold and inhuman. He cried her name over and over, feeling panic and fear rise up within.
But then, white eyes peered at him tiredly, and a hushed voice called, "Sasuke?" The Uchiha sighed in relief, and helped the Hyuuga sit up. "Are you okay?" he asked worriedly. She nodded weakly, and smiled as if nothing was wrong, but Sasuke couldn't help but feel she was lying. After a few minutes of silence and no motion, Kana ushered Sasuke out, and closed the door before him, leaving him staring confusedly at her door.
On the other side of her door, her hand went to her face, and she sighed as she fell upon her bed. The Akatsuki…they're coming closer. If they can't find me, they'll just kill me through that jutsu. It was like she could almost hear their voices in her head, menacing and deadly.
For the next month and few weeks, Hinata had decided to teach Sasuke. She put him through hard concentration, and tough training, and luckily, he didn't ask why she was doing this. He was grateful that he was teaching him so many techniques. But it was surprising to him, that they were extremely powerful, and drained him quickly. He often wondered, how Kana could endure things. However, he was glad that she was always there, pushing him forward, lending him a hand. Everything she was teaching him sure did make up for the time that Orochimaru wasted.
But Kana seemed so distant, despite all the time she spent with him training. He hardly saw her, and when he did, she was so quiet, and tried to ignore him. Sasuke found this strange, as if they had never confessed their love before. It was as if she was trying not remember those three words he had told her that night. And it hurt him. His throat always seemed dry when he tried to ask her, though…
"Sasuke! You're losing control on your chakra!" Kana's voice suddenly brought back to Earth, and he realized that she was right, but it was too late. A loud bang cracked the air like a whip, and they both flew off their feet. "Ugh…" Sasuke groaned as he got back up on his feet. When the smoke from the explosion dispersed, he saw Kana standing up calmly, brushing off some soot from the smoke. "Let's try it one more time. Stay focused this time," she said without a sign of exhaustion, since they had gone over the jutsu about 16 times.
Placing his palms together, Sasuke centered his mind on the blue fire that flamed in the center of his mind. He reached out and tried to grasp it, but it seemed to slip through his fingers. Frustration began growing inside him, but it subsided when he heard her soothe, "Calm down." He felt the tips of the flames tickle his fingers, and he grabbed it firmly, and molded the chakra under his control. A circle of blood red fire formed around him, enveloping him, creating an untouchable barrier.
Greed for power almost posses him, and a purple flame blossomed, where he reached out hungrily for it. His fingertips were almost touching it, and he felt the power pulse through his body. But a scream ripped his concentration to pieces. "NO! STOP!" Sasuke opened his eyes, and saw Kana doubled over before him. "Kana!" He pulled her up to her feet, and saw that her hands…her hands were burned terribly. Traces of blood red fire lingered, and he realized what she had done. She had brought him back from his psychotic state. "I'm…sorry…Kana," he said in a pained voice. She met his eyes and smiled that familiar smile. "It's alright. It doesn't hurt. Sasuke…this was the last part of your training, and it's of course the hardest. But now, I have nothing to teach you. You are probably even stronger than me. Now go rest, you must be tired." Before he could open his mouth, she had retired to her room.
Orochimaru knows that I've obtained my memories again…And I'm done teaching Sasuke…And Akatsuki are trying to find me…So that means I…I have to leave now… The thought of leaving Sasuke pained her. She had been trying avoid him, so that she wouldn't feel any more attachments to him, but it didn't work. She still loved him so much. Tears slowly swept their way down her face, as she cried endlessly, for she would have to leave the one she loved now.
xxxOxxxx -The Finale- xxxOxxx
Where is Kana? I haven't seen her all day! Sasuke thought irritably. He was so bored, that he had decided to walk around the building, and had hoped to run into her somehow. But actually, he had just run into Orochimaru.
"Oh? Sasuke-kun, where are you going?" the sanning said with his plotting smile. Sasuke ignored the annoying smile and answered, "I'm trying to find Kana." He tried to walk past Orochimaru, but the snake-man didn't move, and instead he sighed. "Sasuke-kun, Sasuke-kun. It seems that you did not know."
Sasuke's eyes narrowed, and he growled, "Know what?"
"Kana…is no longer Kana. She has regained her memories. Now, she is Hyuuga Hinata." Orochimaru said looking for any reaction in his pupil's eyes. But Sasuke only raised a brow. "Good for her. What's the problem?"
Orochimaru smiled, as he was about to get to the best part. "You see, she has recovered her memories a couple months ago, and Kabuto did an investigation, and…well…maybe I shouldn't say." Sasuke, furious, demanded, "What is it?!"
"She is an Akatsuki member."
Those five words took a while for Sasuke to digest, and when he did, it overwhelmed him. He couldn't believe it…his Kana…Akatsuki?! With Itachi?! Could she have been playing with me the entire time? Orochimaru sensing the surprise with humor, said as he left, "She hasn't gone far yet. You could perhaps still catch up to her." And with a crooked smile, he vanished into the darkness.
She had never run so fast and so hard in her life. She had to. Or else, her body would just turn around, and run back to Sasuke.
Sasuke. Her Sasuke. The Sasuke who had brought life back into her. The Sasuke who made her feel love. She was leaving him now. Hinata shook the thoughts out of her head, but as if to mock her, he was right there, standing with clenched fists, and gritted teeth. Glaring eyes bore her down, and she was afraid that at any moment, she would start crying. But she forced herself to remain passive, and she forced herself listen to his heart-broken words. "Kana…How could you? Why didn't you tell me? Were you messing with me the whole time?"
When she said nothing, he cried out, "Answer me!" Keeping her head down, she turned her face to the side so that he could not see the pain across her face. With soft, almost inaudible words, she said, "I'm not Kana anymore. I'm Hinata."
With a cry of rage, he attacked her without thinking, and seeing this, she dodged gracefully. But having learned her fighting style, he swept his blade around, feeling it bite into her shoulder. Her hand flew to her shoulder, to stop the blood flow, and with incredible speed, he was behind her, ready to strike her down. But with ease, she caught his falling blade between her fingers, and Hinata heard Sasuke demand for her to draw her blades. But she wouldn't. How could she use her swords on the one she loved? She just couldn't.
Sasuke became bolder in his attacks as he realized that she was not throwing any attacks, and was just protecting herself. Jutsu after jutsu, barrier after barrier, she was just wasting her chakra. Why wouldn't she fight back?!
Discreetly, he folded a chakra-sealing charm around the handle of his kunai, and feinted a fireball jutsu to the left, but then came to the right with his kunai. When the metal met her skin, she immediately felt the chakra being sucked out of her. A horrible feeling. But she didn't care. She didn't care if she was going to die by her lover's hands. In fact, she preferred it that way. Better than what the Akatsuki would do.
But Sasuke thrust Chidori into her abdomen, which took her by surprise. With a smile, she thought, He really learns fast. Sasuke, however, saw that she was still alive, and suddenly, it was like a demon had possessed him. All he wanted was to see her cold corpse lying in her own blood. In his mind, he reached out for that purple flame, and grabbed it hungrily. Power surged through him, strengthening every hair on his body. And with that power, Hinata's blood was spilled.
Black fiery chakra, that had once been designed to be used as a barrier, had been formed into a weapon. It plunged through her chest, ripped through her heart, and came out from her back. Sasuke awakened from his mad condition and realized what had just happened.
Hinata had stood up shakily from his Chidori attack, and before that chakra had touched her, she smiled. The truest smile he had ever seen on her. And it seemed so real, in fact, he saw tears at the corner of her eyes. He bent over her, cradling her bleeding body in his arms.
He had killed her. He had killed the girl he loved. The girl who brought life into him. Unwilling tears flowed from his eyes and kissed the pale face of the girl in his arms. "Open…Open your eyes…please…" Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled that beautiful smile again. "Sasuke…" her voice was hoarse, but he strained to hear more. "I'm sorry…I did everything for you…but…know this…you were my world…and…I loved…you." Her voice stopped there, and her eyes closed for the final time. And at that moment, Sasuke felt more pain than he had ever heard before. But he smiled for her. For the girl he loved. Leaning over her, his lips brushed over her cold stone ones, and just for a moment, he thought he felt those cold lips smile one last time against his.
Sasuke watched as his love, broke her chains, and freely flew away.
"Goodbye. Fly Away."
A/N I'm sorry for the ending, and I'm really sorry for taking so long. This might be the last fanfic I'm gonna right for a while, so I'm sorry. Things have been really hectic, but I'm glad that at least I finished this story. Thanks for the support!