The Torture of Silence
Disclaimer: Own nothing do I.
AN: Hey…LightBender here. This is my second AU story and my third SasuHina story. Once again, this will be a romance story on the very slow side. I'm not very good at rushing headlong into things…sorry. R&R if so inclined.
Summary: Sasuke Uchiha is the head of Chidori, a wing in a psychiatric hospital called Konoha. He treats anorexics, addicts, cutters, and insomniacs among others. He's always been able to talk people through their problems. He's excellent at his job, but no one knows the deep hurt that he holds inside. Everything's going fine until there is a new addition to Chidori: Hinata Hyuga. She won't talk. It's then that Sasuke realizes how loud the silence is. And how much pain it can cause.
Carousel by Linkin Park
She can't hide no matter how hard she tries,
Her secret disguise behind her lies.
And at night she cries away her pride.
With eyes shut tight, staring at her insides.
All her friends know why she can't sleep at night.
All her family asking if she's all right.
All she wants to do is get rid of this hell.
But all she's got to do is stop kidding herself.
Sasuke Uchiha leaned back in his leather chair, not finding the energy to look over the files that he knew he should look at. He was just too damn tired. With one hand, he loosened the noose-like tie around his neck. Closing his eyes, he tried to relax.
Seconds later, someone knocked on the door. Sighing heavily, Sasuke said, "Come in."
A young woman with dyed pink hair and green eyes came in. Her nurse's jacket was unbuttoned to reveal a low cut red shirt and an extremely short miniskirt. Four inch red pumps adorned her feet. She smiled broadly when she saw Sasuke, her eyes tracing over the graceful lines of his body.
"What is it, Sakura?"
"Oh!" Sakura jumped slightly, his voice breaking into her reverie. "I have to give you the final update of the day, remember?"
"Um…Ino lost another half pound. She's down to sixty nine now…we might need to start thinking about force feeding. On the other hand, Choji gained another pound. Anko's going to intensify the training regime. Temari and Gaara have been exceptionally quiet today. Shikamaru only took one nap today…his hypersomnia's improving slightly. We had to drug Shino, Lee, and Naruto today…they got extremely out of hand. That's why you didn't see them today. Tenten's on lock down again. She was caught cutting again. She found some tinfoil."
Sakura looked up expectantly at Sasuke. His head was tilted back, eyes closed. After a moment, she said, "That's all."
"Good…I want to see Shino, Lee, and Naruto the second they wake up. Separately. Inform Ino that if she doesn't start gaining weight, she will be force fed by catheter. Get Gai to help with Choji's training. I also want to see Temari and Gaara as soon as possible. Maybe tonight?" It was less of a request and more of an order; his voice was strong and commanding.
Sakura glanced down at her clipboard, which held an extremely detailed calendar. "No…you can't talk to them tonight. We have a new patient. She should be arriving in a few minutes actually."
Sasuke sighed. "All right. I'll see Temari and Gaara tomorrow morning. I'll need extra time with Tenten tomorrow. When Shikamaru's able to consistently get through a day without a nap, then slowly start to cut down on his medicine. Have Kiba bring in his dog again—everyone seems to like that." Sasuke would not admit it under torture, but he had a bit of soft spot for his patients' happiness.
There was a long pause. Sakura finally tore her eyes away from him and jotted down his instructions. She involuntarily took a step closer.
"Sasu-kun?" Sakura asked, lapsing into the informal.
She cringed at his tone, so unfeeling and hard. "N-Nothing."
"What do you know about the new girl?"
Sakura looked down at the papers, grateful to do something. "Well…she's Neji's cousin, so there will be some confidentiality issues there. She's only eighteen, had her birthday a little over a month ago. Wonderful birthday present, right?" Sakura blushed and then rushed on. "Neji's not sure what exactly is wrong with her. Supposed suicide attempts or something like that." She let out a weak chuckle. "So…we're supposed to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it. It sounds like severe depression to me."
"Great. Just great."
Sakura racked her mind for something comforting to say, anything. But, nothing sounded right. Quietly, she turned and left the room, closing the door quietly behind her. She spared the young man a long look over her shoulder. He didn't notice. He never noticed.
Sasuke brought his closed fist down upon the table. Helping people had never been his strong part. Fixing people wasn't any easier. Hell, he hadn't even been able to fix himself. He still nursed a deep wound in his chest. But, he did not dwell. It was all in the past. It was done with.
He'd never actually wanted to become a psychiatrist. Sasuke had always thought that he would inherit the family business. But, those dreams had ended on that fateful night. He was brilliant and had finished high school at sixteen. College and medical school were completed by age twenty two, three years of internship. Now at age twenty five, he was the very successful psychiatrist at Haven Hidden Among the Leaves, or Konoha for short. He ran the wing for young adults ages eighteen to twenty seven. A woman, Tsunade, owned the place and oversaw his every move. But, Sasuke was basically in charge of his wing, dubbed Chidori. It was joked that this wing was known for its lightning fast offensive to all problems presented to them. Sasuke had named the wing and he had never revealed why he had named it as he had.
A few miles away, a black SUV drove steadily through the falling snow to Konoha. Hiashi was driving, Neji sitting in the passenger's seat. The radio was turned on, but it did not stop the two sitting in the backseat from hearing the conversation taking place. One of the two didn't seem to be paying any attention.
"Hiashi-sama, I assure you, Chidori will get her back together."
"I hold no faith in psychiatrists and their methods. They just prescribe medicine for everything and anything."
"Not Uchiha. He's very firm about limiting the medicines that go into the patients."
"But he gives them medicine."
"Yes, Uncle. But, sometimes it is necessary."
There was a long pause. Finally, Hiashi asked in an undertone that was still heard. "Will it be necessary for her?"
"I don't know. I've told you, her symptoms aren't consistent with anything I've seen before." Neji's voice was patient and calm, going through his reasoning for what had to be the hundredth time.
"Then why do you think this will help?" Hiashi's voice was angry, to hide the nerves hidden beneath the surface.
"We don't have much choice, do we? You want to help her. This is the best place for her to get the help she needs."
Hanabi looked to her right, at the girl in question. Hinata was looking out the window, watching the snowflakes tumble gracefully to the ground, sticking to the window. Her lavender eyes were devoid of all emotion, dark hair falling into them. Hanabi didn't know what her sister was thinking. Placed against the odd brightness of the outside world, Hanabi could see how pale her sister was, how much weight she had lost. If Hanabi had been shown a picture of this girl, she might not have recognized her.
The last month had been a blur. Phone calls during the day from school, saying Hinata had fainted, that Hinata was falling behind, that Hinata did not look well. The meeting with the guidance counselor, the woman listing everything that none of them had wanted to know. Hinata had barely passed senior year, she had been accepted by only two minor colleges. There was also a murmur of trouble at home, that Hinata had been seen putting make up on her arms on several different occasions, that her friends had said that they hadn't seen her eating.
She'd fainted at that meeting. When the nurse had said that her pulse had fallen too low, they'd rushed her to the hospital, where Hinata had remained for three days. During that time, Hiashi and Neji had gone through Hinata's room and found her diary. Upon the creamy pages in her small looping script, they found horrors detailed there. Pages of her pain, her confusion, her sadness. Words describing her finding comfort in the knife at times. The sentences of her suicide attempts. Neji and Hiashi had confronted her when she returned, Hanabi listening from outside the study door. Hinata had sat there silent the whole time. It was then that she completely stopped talking. She had never talked much, but now, she just refused to speak. Not a single syllable escaped her lips.
The car pulled up to an ornate building despite its bleakness. Hiashi parked the car, removed the keys, but didn't immediately open the door. He glanced back at his eldest, her lavender eyes seeing something that he couldn't see outside the window. Anger and disgust filled him at Hinata. She was so like her mother.
"Onee-chan, w-we're here," Hanabi said, hearing the tremor in her voice. In the back of her head, she thought about what a sick joke this was. Hinata had always taken care of her. Hanabi had always been the one in need of protection, of being led. Now, the roles were switched. Hanabi felt the need to protect her now frail sister.
Hinata looked up, startled, at Hanabi, making Hanabi wish she hadn't said anything. Her sister's gaze was so unnerving these days. Hanabi got out of the car and walked to the other side to help Hinata out. She was so frail now. All the while, Hanabi looked up at the grey, foreboding building that looked more like a jail than a place that would help. Or, as the name suggested, a haven. Hanabi reached out for her sister's hand, but Hinata pulled away. Tears came to Hanabi's eyes, but she wouldn't let them fall. This Uchiha character had better be able to help. If he hurt Onee-chan, she would hurt him.
Neji picked up Hinata's suitcase, noticing how light it was. It was expected, though. When he had gone into her room, he hadn't seen anything too personal lying around. That instantly got his psychiatric sense ticking. The diary that they had found, that had scared him. He realized that he didn't even know his cousin. If he had paid even a little attention, he might have seen the warning signs. He was a psychiatrist damn it! He knew all the signs of depression, of cutting, of anorexia, of suicide and he'd still missed it. Now he'd have to show Uchiha that he'd failed to even diagnose his cousin, who he lived with.
Hinata wrapped her arms around her torso, shivering slightly. She wished that she had remembered to bring a heavier jacket; all she had was a light sweater. She followed her father into the large building, trying not to think. She didn't want to think about what was going to happen in a few months, let alone a few minutes. She didn't want to be going here. She was perfectly fine.
Neji led them through the building. Hinata trailed after them, not noticing Hanabi's and her father's and Neji's worried glances over their shoulders at her. All three of the Hyuga eyes mirrored the same distress, but Neji's had a taste of smoldering anger at himself and her father's held disgust. They arrived in a small office, where Neji said something to the pink haired woman sitting on the desk, reading a report. She nodded and he knocked on the doorframe. Without waiting for an answer, the door was flung open by Neji.
Hinata lingered in the doorway for a few seconds, allowing her small family to enter the office and sit down. She wondered if she could just run away and never come back. The pink haired woman was looking at the papers. She wouldn't notice. Hinata was very quiet.
A voice broke through her frenzied thoughts. "Please come in."
The voice was deep and masculine, slightly hardened. But, there was a touch of softness in it. And that's why she went into the room. She wanted to see, to know, who that voice belonged to. Carefully, Hinata lifted her eyes. She was met by a pair of black and red eyes that entranced her. The eyes belonged to an extremely handsome young man. He had a pale face, distinct features that were framed by spiky black hair. He gave the barest flicker of a smile and said, "Welcome to Chidori. My name is Sasuke Uchiha. What is yours?"
Hinata dropped her eyes from his, his gaze much too intense. Instead of answering, she took the empty seat between her father and sister, right in front of the desk. Neji stood to the left of her father, a mask of calm reserve on his face. The room was dead silent.
After she could not stand the awkwardness anymore, Hanabi spoke. "My sister's name is—"
"I'm sorry, but I believe I asked your sister," Sasuke Uchiha said patiently. He locked his fingers together on the desk.
"She doesn't speak anymore," Hanabi explained, feeling tears come to her eyes again. Swallowing heavily, she said, "She just stopped talking. Her name's Hinata."
Sasuke Uchiha didn't say anything for a moment, thinking hard about approaching the situation. He had to try and get a preliminary hypothesis upon the first meeting, so he knew what treatment Hinata would need. "Would you three mind leaving the room for a minute?"
Stiffly, Neji moved the door, his father following in the same fashion. Hanabi moved after a few moments after giving Uchiha a hard look. The door clicked shut.
Sasuke studied the girl, more of a young woman though. She was very fair skinned and very thin. Was anorexia possible in this case? That could lead to some of the symptoms. Her hair was long and dark, falling all the way to her waist with long bangs falling into a pair of the most unique eyes he had ever seen. Like her family's, they were the strange purple color. Hers were much richer in pale lavender than any in her family. She sat straight in the chair, but her neck was bent so that she was studying the ground.
"Hinata," he said aloud, trying out the name. He noticed how she looked up at him for a brief moment. So, she was listening. Might as well continue. "Hinata. That's an interesting name. What does it mean?"
She said nothing. "So, why are you here?"
Hinata didn't move an inch. Her eyes showed no recognition and her hands lay limp in her lap. "Usually if people come here, that means that they have a problem that needs fixing. Do you have one?" She wanted to scream. To tell him no. She as just upset. She looked up for a moment and then dropped her gaze before he could trap her with those oddly colored eyes.
Instead of talking, she studied his tie. It was a deep, dark blue. A navy blue. Navy blue like the sea at night, when it looked so beautifully perfect. Dark blue as the night sky. Dark blue as the—Hinata stopped her thoughts from going down that way.
"Your cousin said that you tried to kill yourself. Is that correct?" He didn't wait for an answer. "He also said that you might be cutting. There was a mention of maybe not eating properly. Is that correct? Because if it is, it sounds to me like you might have a problem. But, to every problem there is a solution. Isn't there?"
Hinata still didn't respond. Inside she was screaming at this man that he had no clue about her. That he was an idiot. She would never let him into her mind, like he wanted.
Almost as if he could read her mind, Sasuke said, shaking his head, "You can't keep me out forever."
He saw her eyes widen slightly. Sasuke would not admit it, but this was beginning to frustrate him. He had never encountered a patient who wouldn't talk before. Without further ado, he called back in the others. Warily, they all looked to Hinata. She was still unresponsive. Without wasting time with the explanations, Sasuke began to talk.
"Hinata's here because she needs help. We, at Chidori, will work to get her the help that she needs. I won't lie to you, Hinata. It won't be easy. Ask any of my other patients and they will tell you that it's hard. But, it's necessary. I will try not to push you farther than you can be, but you're going to have to start talking."
Sasuke saw Hinata's gaze harden ever so slightly. "If you don't say anything, how will anyone know if something's wrong? Mr. Hyuga, Neji, and Hanabi, you will have to be willing to listen to Hinata. How else will she be able to get better? She must have support and understanding." Sasuke placed his hands on his desk. "This is not going to be an easy few weeks. That's all for the moment."
Before Hinata was aware, her sister was hugging her goodbye, leaving Hinata alone with Neji and the pink haired woman in the outer office. She couldn't remember what her father had said to her, or what Hanabi had said. It was all blurred together, just like her paintings of the last few months. She didn't want to remember. She wanted her life to go away.
"Sakura, would you mind getting Hinata set up with the rest of the group?" Neji asked. "I've got to go report to Tsunade-sama. You know how she gets."
"Yeah, she can get just unbearable. Sure, I'll do it. Who's she rooming with?" the pink haired woman, Sakura, asked.
"Tenten's on lock down. Again. Remember?"
"She can still have a roommate." Sakura smiled reluctantly at Neji's answer.
Laughing, she said, "Your head if Tenten gets a weapon."
Neji handed Hinata her suitcase, saying he'd see her tomorrow. He patted her on the head and walked away. Sakura herded Hinata into the hall and lead her down a long hall. It was white and plain. Hinata felt extremely uncomfortable.
"Hi. I'm Sakura, as you've probably guessed. I'm the head doctor here. If you have any medical problems, you'll be sent to me. I'll be giving you a physical exam tomorrow. Um, the basic rule here. First off, listen to what all of us are saying. That should be easy enough. Secondly, if you're not in your room, you need to have an escort. We usually have a few aids running around just for that. If I'm not with someone, I can escort you around. Thirdly, you have to go to your individual therapy sessions and group. No choice in that, sorry. You also have to go to all meals, but that's a given. We have enough anorexics running around." Sakura studied Hinata out of the corner of her eye. The girl was very thin, but she wasn't very tall. Still, she could have anorexia.
"Here we are!" Sakura said cheerfully, entering a large room. It was fairly large, with lightly green walls. There were two couches and several chairs scattered around. There were bookshelves aplenty, most with books, some with board games on them. A television sat in one corner, playing some random show with a laugh track. There were nine people in the room, all of them now staring at the pair that had just entered the room.
"Kakashi! Why are Naruto, Shino, and Lee in here?" Sakura cried across the room, her thoughts no longer on Hinata.
The white haired man who had half of his face covered smiled and said, "They woke up and I saw no harm in letting them in here with the rest of us." He turned to go back to his book, but did a double take. "Hang on…who do we have here?"
"Hinata, this is Kakashi. He's Chidori's school teacher, to keep your mind sharp. Kakashi, this is Hinata. She's new. Can I trust you to help make her welcome? I've got to go talk to Tenten about having a roommate." Without waiting for an answer, Sakura tugged the suitcase roughly out of Hinata's hands and left the room.
Hinata lifted her eyes from the ground and came face to face with a young woman. Well, more of face to shoulder; the young woman was much taller. She had sandy hair fixed in four buns and fiery cerulean eyes. She had her weight all on her right leg, the right hand on her hip. Despite herself, Hinata's eyes widened and she took a step back. This woman exuded confidence.
"Hey, I'm Temari no Sabaku. You look lost." She, Temari, turned to Kakashi and said, "I'll take care of the introductions so that you can get back to your dirty little book."
Kakashi laughed and said, "Thank you, Temari darling." He returned rather quickly to his small book.
"All right. So, your name is Hinata?" Hinata nodded almost imperceptibly. "Welcome to Chidori, Hinata. Isn't it a lovely place?" There was no hint of sarcasm in her voice as she smiled kindly.
There was a murmuring of 'of course.' Temari laughed. "Well, I'm Temari as I told you before and I'm an extreme drug abuser. This is Ino," she pointed to a painfully thin girl with long blonde hair. "She's anorexic."
"Hi," Ino said, smiling at Hinata. Hinata just stared at the dark blue carpet. Very much like a certain young man's tie…she shook her head slightly. Taking a deep breath, Hinata focused on Temari's words.
"This useless lump of carpet is Shikamaru," Temari playfully kicked at the kid with hair like a pineapple. He groaned and looked up at her with one eye. "Troublesome woman…do you always have to do that?" Hinata saw the coy look the two exchanged and realized that they were "in love."
"Yes." Temari looked to Hinata. "Shikamaru has hypersomnia, which means he sleeps a lot, and he's a bit of a pyromaniac, but he's got an I.Q. over 200, so don't try to beat him at chess." Temari stepped over Shikamaru and Hinata followed. Temari pointed to an extremely overweight boy. "That's Choji; he'll eat anything that isn't nailed down. The boy sitting next to him is Shino; he OCD's about every little thing and he's not quite in touch with reality." As Temari said that, Hinata watched the sunglasses wearing boy's hands twitch. "The blonde thing wearing orange is Naruto; he's got multiple personality disorder. The guy wearing green spandex is Lee and he's just bipolar."
"Shut up, you bitch! You defile the name of youthfulness!" Lee frowned at Temari, but almost immediately turned back to Hinata with a big smile on his face. "Hi! I'm the youthful Lee!"
Temari sat down on one of the couches, Hinata sitting next to her hesitantly. "That boy, with the red hair, he's my little brother Gaara. He's got a ton of problems: schizophrenia, insomnia, cutter, the works. All because our father was abusive. I'm glad he's dead. Our other brother, Kankuro, is the psychologist here. You'll meet him soon. That's everyone, isn't it?" Hinata noticed how quickly Temari dismissed the concept of her father. How strange.
"No, you forgot Tenten," her little brother reminded her, giving Hinata a small smile. It sent shivers down her spine. He looked like he was just itching to put his hands around her neck.
"Oh yeah…Tenten's a cutter. She's in her room right now because she started cutting again. Stupid move…they'll find out if you cut. They have their ways!"
Kakashi glanced up. "How do you know about our ways? I thought they were secret!"
Temari smiled. "My brain isn't completely wasted, Kakashi." She turned back to Hinata. "So, don't try it. 'Course, you don't look like the cutter type." Temari looked at Hinata. "No…I don't know what type you look like."
"Why are you here?" Ino asked, putting down here fashion magazine with a slightly shaking hand.
All the others in the room turned to look at Hinata, leaning in closer. Even Kakashi looked like he was listening, despite the fact that his eyes were fixed on his book. Hinata felt her face heat up. Slowly, she shook her head. Tears welled up in her eyes. She didn't want to be here with all these people who had so many problems. She had no problem! Why was she even here? She wanted to leave and get out.
Unexpectedly, she felt an arm around her shoulders. She turned to look at Temari. Temari's face was hard, but there was a softness in her eyes and tone. "It's not all right now, but it will be soon. I promise."
AN: That's the first chapter. Expect irregular updates until school lets out in June. But, I will try to update as soon as possible. I thank thee for taking the time to read this here fanfic. I would be ever so grateful if you would tell me what you think. I will try to keep all the treatments and the illnesses as correct as possible, so feel free to critique me as needed. Review if so inclined.