Author's Note: Thank you so much everyone for the continued support! That's why, with a very heavy heart, I have to inform you, this is the final chapter. But everything gets resolved, though it is sort of cheesy. But I've envisioned this ending from the start... So I hope you enjoy it! I apologize for the very lateness of this update! I had lost the will to write for a while, as I had a death in the family. My own father passed away quite recently and I have just now started to pull things together to finish up stories and add more.
So, there's drama, tears, romance, ass-kicking, and a happy ending :) There will not be a sequel to this. I'm rubbish at writing them, believe me. Also, I don't tell you each and every thing that happened. I'll leave it up to you to fill in the gaps with your imagination :) Though you can guess certainly.
I'm very glad everyone has liked this fic, as I never dreamed when I began writing it about two years ago that it would be this popular. I am humbled by your responses and honored by all the feedback! It has given me courage to actually try my hand with getting some of my original romance work published (waiting to hear from eharlequin any day now on a paranormal story I submitted months ago...). But honestly, it was your reviews and favs and alerts that kept me going! So thank you very much!
Please check out my other stories. I will begin working on Harajuku Girl agian soon :) I will probably write more Itachi/Hinata fics like this in the future, even though I don't watch the show anymore or read the manga. Though I am going to try rereading and see if I get that spark back.
My standard: I apologize if anyone is OOC. This is AU after all and so they have to be adapted to another universe, though I try and keep them the same. Please, positive feedback and crit. Not negative or flaming.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or its characters. I do not own the title of the fic or the lyrics within, it belongs to the Beatles. No money is made from this.
If I Fell
"Hang on!" Neji called from the small living room of his apartment. He wondered exactly who would be calling on him, especially since Hinata was out of town with Itachi. It nearly knocked him to the floor when he opened the door and found her standing on the other side. "Hinata?"
"Oh Neji!" She wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging on as if he were the last life preserver on a sinking ship.
"Hinata! What's wrong?" he demanded, falling back into the apartment with her. His blood was already pounding in his ears. If she were alone, then something dreadful happened with Itachi and his family.
She proceeded to tell him in a huge jumble of words, mixed with her tears, making her damn near impossible to understand.
"Slow it down," he urged, helping her to the couch. "I can't help you when I can't understand what occurred."
"Neji, everything is messed up. I've made a huge mistake." Finally, Neji thought, she realized what a no-good lowlife that Uchiha is.
"Continue," he nodded, eager for another reason to hate her fiancé.
"Sasuke ruined everything." The younger one? His hopes fell and he realized just how serious his cousin was about Itachi.
"Have you read the morning paper yet?" Neji shook his head. He followed Hinata to the kitchen, where she grabbed it from his table. It had come that morning, folded so that he didn't see the horror splashed across page one.
"What happened, Hinata? What's going on?" She frantically pushed the paper into his hands before she started gathering things to make herself a soothing cup of tea with.
Neji had to take a seat before he fell down.
"That's what happened," she sighed, trying to get a grip on her tears. She needed to strengthen her resolve soon, before the wolves attacked.
"Hinata, these lies…"
"Sasuke," she answered as she gripped the steady surface of the counter.
"And our family."
"I know." He could hear something different in her voice, but he couldn't place his thumb on it.
"You aren't going to stand for this. I'm going to-"
"No, Neji. Not this time." Anger. Power. Maturity. "I want to take care of things myself. I just came here to ask you what I should do first." He smiled. Hinata was finally growing up.
She wanted advice, not counseling. Hinata knew some things were just beyond her control, like Sasuke ruining her entire existence. But trying to fix the problems was something she could and would do.
"Alright Hinata. Family first."
"Good, then I'm going to fix things right away."
Itachi arrived home to find the house empty.
He would have been fueling hope if he had actually believed her to be waiting at his apartment for his return. But it was a lackluster wish.
He dumped his bags beside the door and checked the answering machine. Fifteen messages, ten of which were from Sasuke. He deleted those. Three were from his parents. One was from Madara. The last was a telemarketer. He deleted everything.
When he was ready to talk, he would.
His heart sank a little further, realizing she had not even called him.
Itachi realized he had no real way of contacting her if she left. He hurried for his office to grab her employee file, hoping it would contain the address of her cousin she visited. If Hinata wouldn't talk to him, she would run to her cousin.
"She's not here," Neji snapped as he refused to open the door more than a crack for Itachi.
"Please, it is very important that I must speak to her," Itachi all but begged. He was desperate enough that he didn't care exactly how he sounded. He needed Hinata to know the truth, to make everything right, for his home to not be empty again.
"It is very important that you leave her alone right now." Neji started to shut the door, but Itachi slammed his foot inside the crack, muscling his way in. He let the other man walk around the apartment, searching for a few minutes. "She's not here, honestly," Neji told him pointedly, his pale eyes narrowing.
"Can you please tell me where she has gone then?" Neji could see the distress written on Itachi's face very plainly. He was actually suffering. How could he stand in the way of such possible happiness? Didn't his favorite cousin deserve something good in her life for once?
"She's gone to the family, once and for all."
"Oh no, this is worse than I anticipated." Itachi misunderstood.
"No, she's gone to tell them off."
Itachi stopped in shock.
Hinata paused outside the home of her childhood unhappiness. So much misery was soaked into those walls, it would never leave. It was a curse. She had escaped, only to return again. But it was necessary.
She knocked, listening as a lesser nameless servant came to the door to fetch her. Her father and Hanabi must have been expecting her after the news, to grovel at their feet. She clenched and unclenched her fists, centering herself, and calling up her courage.
It would all end today. She would be free for good in just moments she realized as she followed him down the long corridors to the family room. Her father and sister waited, side by side, equally snide expressions on their faces. Hinata was not surprised in the least. They both had a vast web of spies. They would know she was back.
"Come back to us my little prodigal daughter?" her father asked, taking in her distressed appearance.
"Only to set some things straight." This wasn't just for Itachi; this was for her as well, for her own future.
"Oh?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Did you finally grow that spine sister-sama?" Hanabi sneered.
"Yes. Much stronger than yours," Hinata shot back.
"What exactly do we owe the pleasure of your visit?" her father asked politely, though his hard eyes betrayed his true feelings.
"I've come to break my ties with the both of you, and to ask that you please stay out of my life."
"And what makes you think we have done anything to harm you?" Hanabi asked her voice sugarcoated like always.
"You two never do anything out of your way unless it is for personal gain. I know it was one of you that gave some of the information to Sasuke." Neji had called Naruto, as he used to tutor him back in the day. Naruto had confessed to knowing the full story by now.
Her father and sister exchanged worried glances. Now came time for the bluff.
"I have proof that I'm going to take to certain authorities," Hinata continued. "About lots of things." Neji actually had evidence that he had been gathering to black mail his uncle with, should he ever need to. "I'm sure they would be happy to know about all the pies you have your fingers in."
"You better stop before you get in over your head," Hanabi told Hinata darkly.
"Or what? You're going to hurt me?" Hanabi was just as predictable as always. With a growl, she launched herself at Hinata, who was ready for her.
In a basic self defense move, Hinata used her sister's weight against her, flipping her on her back so that she landed disgracefully on the hardwood floor. It had taken years of building courage, but Hinata finally had the upper hand in her life.
"Father!" Hanabi screamed from her position. It would bruise in many places.
"Father, I am not a little girl you can push around anymore!" Hinata yelled. Tears were threatening to break free, but she held her emotions in check.
"No, you are not." He was surprised, certainly. "Now you finally act like you belong with us."
"I do not belong with you though," Hinata told him angrily. "I never have been part of your world. I belong with my friends and my fiancé!"
"Then what do you wish Hinata?" Hanabi was trying to raise herself from the floor, sobbing out of anger and wounded pride. Hinata kept a foot on her.
"I want you to take back all of the mean things you've said over the years and to never publish another thing about my personal life that is no one's business. Mom would have never wanted that." Hanabi tried to rise again, throwing Hinata's foot off her chest. Instead, Hinata stepped on her sister's hand hard enough to break a small bone or two.
"We take back all of the things Hinata," her father told her, bowing forward. "You are so much like your mother."
"Thank you father," Hinata told him, meaning it. She left Hanabi to give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "When we announce the wedding, I will send you an invite."
She started to leave, her heart a million times lighter. "Hanabi," she said lightly, "You will have to re-grow that spine you had sister-sama." Hinata left unhindered through the front door.
She threw her arms out in the sunshine, letting the light warm her face as she waltzed down the sidewalk. No more tears. She could face Itachi as a free woman now.
Itachi watched her, as he leaned against the side of the house. He had considered running inside, but it was Hinata's battle, not his.
"And just where do you think you're going?" he smirked.
"Itachi!" Her eyes flew open and she nearly fell. He rushed forward to sweep her into his arms. "How did you find me?"
"Itachi," she started. "I am so sorry for everything!" The tears she had not shed for her family were running down her cheeks unbidden. She was so proud she made it through that ordeal without crying that now she didn't care if he saw her this way.
"Hinata, you have nothing to apologize for. If anything, it is I who should apologize to you, on Sasuke's behalf." She laughed, though it came out more as an unladylike snort against his chest. Itachi was thrilled to have her back in his arms again.
"I guess our families have been rather naughty," she smiled as she looked up at him.
"We cannot stop them if they are." He smiled back, pushing her loose hair from her face then cupping her slender cheeks. "Hinata, I love you."
"I love you too Itachi." She snuggled into his embrace.
"Come back home with me," he requested. "Things will sort themselves out in time. But we have more important things to worry about."
"Like what?" Hinata asked coyly, though she was sure that she knew what he had in mind, her heart fluttering with anticipation.
"Itachi, you really want to marry me?" she teased. "The hired help?"
"I fell for you," he told her earnestly as he wrapped an arm around her waist, steering her for the car. "And I wouldn't choose anyone else."
The doorbell rang and Itachi had to drag himself from the luxury of Hinata's arms. Always with the interruptions! He could hear her padding behind him as they headed for the door.
"Please excuse my rudeness," Sasuke said as he fell to his knees in their doorway. Hinata and Itachi shared a look, wondering if this was a trick. Sasuke seemed fairly serious, risking a good pair of business slacks.
"Alright," Itachi said, crossing his arms over his chest. "What is it?"
"I have come to formally apologize to you and Hinata-sama both." He kept his eyes on the floor in front of him.
"Sasuke," Hinata smiled. "We forgive you. Just come in and let us close the door."
"Please, I particularly beg your forgiveness," Sasuke said stubbornly. He had made up his mind he was going to do this, weeks ago, after everything had calmed down, no matter how much it cost his pride.
He had the shares, but it was still a hollow victory if he didn't make up for his behavior at the family gathering.
"Sasuke, I forgive you," Hinata said softly, crouching down to his level. She kissed the top of his head as she drew him to his feet. "Now come in this instant and help us plan the wedding." His eyes widened then narrowed to their normal state as he followed them in.
He could see, tagging along behind them just how in love they were, despite all that had happened. His brother was finally happy.
Sasuke wished that he could find a person to settle down with, to be as content as his older sibling, to know true happiness.
All day guests had expressed their best wishes to Hinata and Itachi as they mingled at their wedding party. A year had passed since all the heartache before, and Hinata was still as in love with Itachi as the day she had met him.
The world was beautiful, the colors brighter.
Her father had shown up and behaved himself, though he and Fugaku did not exchange greetings. Some wounds take longer than others. Hanabi did not show up at all, despite her invitation.
Neji had given Hinata away, as it had been his blessing that mattered more than any other. He was trying things again with Ten Ten. Itachi's family had accepted her, no questions asked.
So far she had danced with Fugaku, Madara, and Sasuke. She had yet to dance with her own husband. They would be leaving soon to start their two week honeymoon. She had a surprise for him though he had already probably figured it out.
She was growing something inside of her, a seed of their love. And she was quite excited.
Hinata had finished school several months before, ready to start a career as an at-home artist.
Things were going well.
"There's my beautiful wife," a delicious voice said from behind her, as slender arms snaked around her waist.
"Itachi, there you are. I've been waiting."
"I had a song request," Itachi told her, as he spun her around gently, so that he could see her beautiful face. These days she had been glowing. He had a theory or two as to why.
"Yes." He spun her around slowly, his hand resting gently on her waist, the other leading. Soon they would be starting on another journey of life together, she realized as she watched the party around her blurring slightly, a different and wonderful journey into parenthood.
'If I fell' by the English Beatles played on in the background…"If I fell in love with you, would you promise to be true, and help me understand…"
Author's End Note: Thank you so much everyone, once again, I cannot stress that enough! I'll see you around soon with my other fics :)
UPDATE: As of this year I have gone back and edited the original content a bit, removed the Japanese words I had scattered in it and such. I am trying to reread the manga now and have felt a bit of the old spark back. Have nearly a whole chapter done for Harajuku Girl which should be up soon.