Final Chapter. But don't worry, there's more Deidara/Hinata on the way sometime. All names you recognize belong to Masashi Kishimoto.
Some Things: Perfect
by green see-through ghosts
"You don't have to dance at prom, you know."
Yeah, the theme Dancing in the Moonlight is just for kicks.
"You can sit and talk with people if you want to."
What, really? I mean, that's NOT what I do every single day at school, is it?
"And if you feel like dancing later, you can."
Really?! Dance…if I feel like it? When I'm going when I don't feel like it? What a novel idea!
"It's really important to some of the girls-"
So are boyfriends, but that doesn't mean I'd offer to be one.
"And your father."
Hinata sighed, once, deeply, and then sighed again.
"Oh, stop it," Tenten laughed. "You look beautiful, Hinata."
"Th-thank-you, Tenten," the dark-haired girl said quietly, barely glancing at her friend before turning her gaze on the black window again.
"What do you say?" Ino said proudly as she eyed her handiwork once again. "Am I a miracle worker or what?"
"Sure," Kiba said, leaning over to kiss his date's cheek before turning to Hinata, who looked away from him with a small, inaudible sigh. Sure, she was now wearing the gorgeous knee-length dress, the skirt a lavender poof from her waist and the strapless bodice covered in lace and pearls. Sure, her hair was twisted and clipped into a bun, her bangs and certain locks left free to edge her face. Yes, she was wearing a pearl necklace and pearl earrings and silvery flats, and Ino had sprayed her with some fruity scent after she'd lined her eyes in delicate makeup. She looked nice -- and, she admitted to herself, she felt nice -- but none of it really made up for the cut-off evening with the intriguing and thoughtful Deidara.
Then again, it didn't really make up for an evening with a book and a cup of hot tea either. Chai Green Tea, with just a bit of honey, in the black flower mug, and Dickens, or maybe even-
"Hinata, snap out of it!"
Hinata jumped in her seat and turned to face the glaring Neji, a sheepishly shameful expression on her face. "Good grief," he sighed.
"S-sorry," she muttered, blushing red as she looked away.
"Don't blush," Ino ordered. "The color ruins the eye-shadow." She smiled to show that the words were meant in a kindly manner, but that didn't help Hinata's self-esteem.
"Do you want me to find Naruto and have him-"
"No!" Hinata cut Kiba off before he could finish. "N-no, Kiba, I'm f-fine."
"How about Lee?" Tenten asked. Hinata shook her head. "Shino?"
"I'm really fine," Hinata stressed, feeling the anger at her friends rise up inside her for the umpteenth time that night.
"We just want you to have fun," Ino said softly.
If you wanted me to have fun, you wouldn't have forced me to come, now, would you?
"We're here," Neji said bluntly, and the conversation ended.
Before she could slide out of the limousine onto the hotel curb, her cousin stopped her with a gentle, but firm, grip on her arm.
"We'll be right in," he told Tenten. "You guys go ahead."
"Alright," Tenten said after a moment. "But hurry up! We don't want to miss the crowning." Neji nodded silently, and Hinata simple looked away again. Once their friends were gone and the door was closed, Neji spoke.
"I'm…sorry," he said, speaking as if it pained him to admit it. Hinata looked up at him, surprised, but he did not meet her eyes. "But I promised your father that you'd be here tonight." Hinata nodded silently, not even really bothering to acknowledge what he said as she looked away again. "He…he wanted to see you before you left."
To judge me.
"He didn't have the chance, so he wanted me to give this to you," Neji continued. He reached inside his jacket pocket and withdrew a small, black velvet box. "He said it was your mother's." Without another word, Neji slid the box into her hand, leaving it to her to open it.
She stared at him for a moment, then down at the box, then back at him. He rolled his eyes, then smiled, though it looked as if it pained him.
"Go ahead," he ordered. Hinata stared at him for another moment, then ran a fingertip across the delicate velvet before flipping the box open. Resting on the white satin was a silvery chain bracelet, thick strands of metal twisted and braided to form the slightly flexible ornament. Attached at several areas around the chain were small letters of different colors, in particular three different letter H's attached between more commonplace charms and various other letters. The first was a bold capital H, colored gold, that rested in-between a tiny silver sword and a black enamel heart with a J engraved in it. The second H, a lower-case white-silver letter, hung between the black heart and a detailed rocking horse. And the third, a sparkling amethyst, uppercase, curvy letter H, was fastened between another heart -- this one steel in appearance -- and a tiny pink letter D in the form of a ballerina.
Hinata stared, and stared, and stared.
"Well?" Neji asked.
Wordlessly, she reached inside the box, gently tugging the bracelet from its satin fastenings.
"I see," Neji said plainly after a moment. "Should I be offended that there is no N?"
Still silent, Hinata turned the bracelet until the small steel heart was facing him. Neji studied the ornament for a moment before realizing that there was a curvy letter N carved into the heart, an ornate and utterly ridiculous letter, but acknowledgment of him.
"I…your father said she wished you would have this," Neji said slowly. "When you came of age. And…well, your father felt that this was appropriate."
"Traditional," Hinata whispered, looking past the bracelet and into Neji's eyes.
"Yes," Neji said thoughtfully. "And it saves him the trouble of having to throw a debutant ball." Hinata stared at him for another moment, then giggled.
"There's a D," she said.
"Yes," Neji said, raising his eyebrows. "Um, for dance?"
"Sure," Hinata giggled, though dance was not the D word she was thinking of. Granted, the owner of the D word she was thinking of wouldn't have appreciated the princess pink or the ballerina, but hey. If he was anything like her, he'd take what he could get.
"Here," Neji said with another small smile, this one less pained. "I'll help you fasten it."
She'd find him -- somehow. Amongst the scattered burst of light and heavy dance music, Hinata wondered and planned. Maybe the librarian would know who he was, or she could find his address from the college. After all, how many Deidara's could there be in one area of science? She might even find him at the library if she hung out enough.
She wasn't having fun, but then again, she wasn't exactly miserable. The padded booth on the edge of the huge dance room was hidden just enough to make her feel invisible, but still able to observe her friends. Kiba or Neji was always close enough to scare away any of the teenage males who even thought about approaching her, which, for the millionth time in her life, she was grateful for. Hinata was the sort of girl who didn't mind being a wallflower in the slightest.
Still, after nearly an hour and a half, she was beginning to get bored. Unbearably bored. To the tenth power. But her escape from the room didn't quite go as planned. Almost as soon as she'd stood from the table, scaring a bunch of freshmen who'd been hiding on the other side of the partition, the dance music changed. The song must have been popular -- Hinata faintly recognized it from radio play -- as throngs of students suddenly stampeded the floor, catching Hinata in the midst of them.
She stumbled backwards, realizing with a suddenly jumping heart that she was stuck in the middle of the crowd. All alone, without friends or an escape route, without room to breath or think or see or hear. She was deaf and blind, caught up as a bit of nothingness in a world of movement and reality. In that one moment, Hyuga Hinata was nothing.
Then she was free. Not from the crowd, not from her friends, not from society's conceptions -- but from herself. Bumped to and fro by the bodies thrashing around her; Hinata stilled. A elbow knocked her in the side, and she stifled a smile. Someone glared at her for getting in the way, and Hinata didn't shrink away or blush. The charm bracelet felt heavy and cold against his wrist; she pressed it against her stomach, startled by the chill through the silky material.
So her mother was there, giving a blessing to the daughter she'd lost; indeed, it'd never been the other way around. The ones we call lost are always there, waiting to be called on; we are the ones who are truly lost when we deny them this right -- the right of their memory to comfort us. And in that moment of losing herself, Hinata found the thing that she had released so many years ago -- her foundation, her corner-stone, her base.
What had she to cry about? The time for crying had past, and the time to remember had begun. What had she to fear? Fear was of darkness, and nothing of the sort could thrive in the beauty of memory. What had she to hide from?
"Nothing," she whispered. And with that, she began moving through the crowd with the inborn grace of a true dancer, hardly brushing against the fellow teens in her movement. No longer clumsy, because she was on her true stage -- not that wooden platform that we idolize, but that cracked asphalt that only we can make beautiful.
She broke free from the crowd just as the music progressed into the chorus. Stopping on the edge of the dance floor, she listened for a short moment, hoping that maybe, her mother would speak to her through the music -- as if the sudden transformation would have some sort of movement on every bit of her surroundings.
No such luck. She heard something about "3, 6, 9," and "Get low," before she stopped listening with a small smile and a shake of her head. Who cared? If anything, it was just encouragement to leave the room; which she promptly did, walking swiftly towards the set of double doors that lead to the lobby. She stopped briefly at the door to let a couple few, then lifted her foot to continue.
"I wonder," a surprisingly familiar voice said from somewhere just behind her, "why they never get a decent DJ for these things." Hinata froze, realizing a moment too late that with a foot in mid-air for another step forward, now wasn't the time to freeze. No worries, though, she thought inwardly as a warm hand grasped her elbow and pulled her upright before she could fall any further. "You know?" Deidara continued. "I mean, the least they could do is get something half-way appropriate to play."
"Why would they?" Hinata laughed. "After a-all, it's a teen d-dance, you know. The last thing they're w-worried about is b-being appropriate."
"I suppose," Deidara said dryly. "Still, it's a bit…lame, don't you think?"
"C-course," Hinata said. "You lied about your sister."
"You knew I lied."
"You ready, then?"
"Where are we h-headed?"
"What if God were one of us…Just a slob like one of us…Just a stranger on a bus…trying to make his way home…"
Hinata inwardly groaned, long and mournfully, with tints of a why-me attitude involved. The bus driver had to be playing this on purpose. There was simply no way it could play on any radio station twice in a row, simply no-
"Good Lord," Deidara muttered under his breath, twisting around in his seat to glare at the driver. "Next song, please," he said, a little louder than necessary. The driver ignored him -- Hinata could have predicted that -- and Deidara crashed back into his seat, mumbling under his breath about nonexistent service.
Hinata didn't mind the song that much, but her friend of three weeks seemed to have a little different of a mentality towards it.
Deidara shoved his hand inside his ever-present book bag and withdrew an Ipod Classic without a case. The white finish was scratched, the screen light broken, and it looked…well, old, but he jerked out a pair of dangly headphones after it, so the thing must have still worked.
"Here," he muttered, dropping the Ipod in Hinata's lap and plunging his hand back inside the bag. A moment later, he brought out another pair of headphones and, a moment later, a splitter. "Take these," he ordered, dropping a pair of headphones in her lap while untangling the other pair. "And this," he added, holding the splitter out in her direction.
"If God had a face, what would it look like…And would you want to see it…If seeing meant that you would have to believe…In things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets…"
Hinata pulled the splitter free from his fingers and set up her side of the bargain as he cursed his way through the knots in his headphone cord.
"Alright," Deidara muttered, snatching the Ipod from her hand with fingers that brushed ever so lightly over her own. "Time to make our escape." He stuck his headphone cord into the extra slot of the splitter and inserted his ear-buds, motioning for Hinata to do the same.
"Goodbye acoustic angst," he muttered as he hit the play button with a vicious downward jab.
Hinata jumped a foot off the seat as the sound of heavy grating guitar that was ten times louder than it should have been filled her ear cavities, accompanied by an obnoxious high-hat barrage and base strumming that was entirely too harsh.
"Woops," Deidara muttered, not that he could even hear himself. He grinned over at her and cranked the volume down a few notches. "Sorry," he mouthed. Hinata couldn't help it -- as her ears throbbed with the pounding rock and now, hysterical screaming, she smiled back at him, wincing as the beat chased all rational thought out of her head. While it wasn't quite a smile he was satisfied with -- three weeks and nothing more than this tiny twist upward -- Deidara once again felt that lightening of his emotions that came with her company.
He wasn't supposed to be a happy person -- he normally wasn't. One word for you -- cynic. But -- ah, the life-changing and ever-present but -- Hinata made him happy. And really, that's all there was to it.
"No that," he muttered under his breath, turning back to the Ipod. "Something…softer." He scrolled down through his list of artists, searching for a title that did not lead to heavy riffs and too-strong male vocals. He wasn't ashamed to admit that there was little of it. Deidara wasn't one to listen to soft or slow music. When he listened, he was usually trying to lose himself in the noise. Times when he actually wanted to enjoy the music came few and far between. But this felt different to him, and plus, Hinata really looked uncomfortable.
So, albeit slightly reluctantly -- he liked Killswitch Engage -- Deidara selected something slightly more geared towards the shy girl sitting beside him on the bus headed for the college.
There was a break in the music for a moment long enough for them to hear, "He's trying to make his way home…Back up to heaven all alone…" As Deidara growled viciously under his breath, the new music began.
John Frusciante, guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and solo artist, recorded nine solo albums. This particular guitar piece, a minute and eleven second long section titled Ramparts, came from the album To Record Only Water For Ten Days. Deidara had no real interest in the album, or the artist -- if he remembered correctly, his roommate had imported the stuff into his Itunes in the first place -- but he felt, rather vaguely, that is was the closest thing to soft that he had. And plus, this particular piece, especially the length, seemed to be…inspired.
Deidara settled back in the seat, crossing his arms over his chest in a satisfied manner; he caught sight of Hinata's black-faced/open-mouthed/wide-eyed expression out of the corner of his eye. The blue-eyed blonde turned towards her, the soft, driving guitar relaxing his mind so that a genuine smile came more easily than usual. Stunned, she stared back at him.
"Unexpected?" he mouthed. She nodded once and leaned back against the seat, focusing her eyes back on his face once he looked away. No need for her to tell him that the music matched the look in his eye , or that the key reminded her of her cousin's desperate cling to freedom, or of her desperate cling to him. No need for her to spoil the moment by trying to describe it.
Deidara reached over and picked up her hand -- not gently, not roughly, not flirtatiously. Just a matter-of-fact grasp, since that's how it was supposed to be. And Hinata blushed, because that's how she is, and Deidara rolled his eyes, because that's how he is. And in a minute and eleven seconds, the moment ended, but that didn't mean they let go. And long after the acoustic angst song ended -- long after the bus passed their stop -- they sat, listening to something difference. After all, wasn't the decision to try something different what had brought them together in the first place?
But there was really no need to try and describe it, or to pay attention to the details. Details were for his explosions and her dances. Neither of them cared about the details when they were together, and anyways, nothing ever really went as planned.
The End! Reviews would be wonderful, and thanks for reading!