I gazed out at the stars, admiring their beauty from inside the cave.

It made me wonder if anyone in Konoha was looking out at the stars this late at night as well, admiring them for their simple beauty -- or even missing me...

I sighed. Who was I kidding? Who'd miss me, the insignificant, dead, weak Hyuuga Heiress? But I'm so much stronger, with the help of my new family -- even though they're a pretty...dysfunctional and unusual family.

My cloak billowed as the wind blew by, my dark navy hair picking up off my shoulders gently. He was close.

"Hinata." His quiet, cold voice echoed throughout the cave. I turned to look at the handsome, silky haired man. His ruby eyes were passive.

"Itachi-sensei," I bowed.

Yes. This was the family I had joined. The Akatsuki.

In a way, the Akatsuki was more of a family than the Hyuugas could ever be.

"No suffix, Hinata."

"Hai." I agreed. I'd long gotten rid of my stuttering habit. Or rather, as Itachi called it, the stuttering weakness.

"What will we learn today, Itachi?" I asked quietly, breaking the silence.

"Your training has concluded," He replied, "Anything else is on your own."

I felt a pang of...something in my heart...was it sadness? I'd gotten kind of close to Itachi-san. Not the best friends forever type of thing, we were equally quiet and unemotional to each other, yet we could tell what the other felt with just a look. We'd created a bond. Something unbreakable. What it was, however, had yet to be determined.

"Leader-sama has assigned you a mission," He continued.

"My first mission?" My blank face changed to an almost excited one. I would finally be able to wear the Akatsuki cloak, and not this plain black one I was given in my training.

"Hai. It is to test your skills...and your loyalty."

"What's the mission?"

"I will accompany you to Konohagakure," He began. "And as you know, you have not been branded a Missing Nin. Instead, you were assumed KIA or kidnapped."

I have not been branded yet, Itachi. Not yet.

"What am I to do?" I prodded. In other words, I was asking: How do I prove myself worthy to Leader-sama, Itachi? How do I prove myself worthy to you?

"Blend in with the Konoha nin," He replied emotionlessly, his eyes reading me carefully. "Obtain the Hyuuga scrolls that contain the structures and secrets of Konohagakure."

The Hyuugas were the Protectors of Konoha Secrets, as they liked to call themselves. I thought the name was stupid, however. With my new strength, I was sure I would succeed. But cockiness can always ruin everything, as Itachi once said.

"You are also to eliminate the current Clan Head, who also yields the knowledge of Konoha's secrets. Hyuuga Hanabi."

Hanabi...the replacement Clan Head. My eyes darkened. My younger sister. The murderer of my beloved mother.

"Hai," I nodded coldly, "When do I leave?"

"We." He corrected. "I will wait for you there."

Those words brought an unknown rush to my heart, even though I knew the words meant something completely different.

-x-

"From here, you are on your own, Hinata." I refrained from frowning, opting to stay silent instead.

"When you are in Konoha..." He hesitantly trailed off, "It is possible you might create...bonds. Your headband is still unmarked, as well."

This time I couldn't help my lips pulling downwards. I suddenly knew where he was getting at.

"Never." Never would I leave him. He...he meant too much to someone as worthless as me.

"Fate always decides, Hinata...hime."

I took a sharp intake of breath, glancing at him. Itachi wasn't looking directly at me. I stayed silent, processing his words. Had...had I heard right? Did he think fate would...tear us apart? Was I...was I really called Hinata-hime?

Would fate really keep me away from him?

"No, Itachi." I untied my headband from my neck, as I dug out a kunai from my weapon pouch. His face was blank all the while, but his Mangenkuo Sharringan eyes were hard. Calculating. Wondering.

Kink!

I quietly shoved my kunai back in my weapon pouch and gently placed the newly marked headband in his hand.

"Fate doesn't choose your future, Itachi," I said quietly, "You choose your own destiny."

My mouth flicked upwards. I remember saying those words to Neji in the Chuunin Exams.

I turned away in the direction of Konoha, but I suddenly felt his hand on my shoulder.

"I will wait for you," He whispered, "Hinata-hime..."

I smiled. Those words...their meaning...it brought tears to my eyes. I fought to keep them in check.

I turned to face his now onyx eyes. How rare it was to see the beautiful onyx orbs...

"I will return," I whispered, "My love."

Author's Note: My first ItaHina oneshot! I'm not sure what's with it, but I think it's a little cheesy. Anyway, reviews are appreciated!