Chapter 4! I am so happy reading all your reviews! Reviews put a smile on my face :) I love it when readers tell me which parts they like or which parts they don't. So thank you ever so much!
Warning: Lots of swearings. Does anyone think I should raise the ratings to M?
Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine.
Ino sang to herself as she worked, her brows knitting in concentration as she artfully prepared flower arrangements. After her talk yesterday with Shikamaru, she felt much relieved. All she had to do now was talk to Hinata and inform her about how she had seen Sasuke.
What was that bastard doing back here, anyway? She frowned. Whatever it was, he was not welcomed here and would never be.
She cut the flowers viciously. How dare that jerk come back?!
After four years abroad at college, Ino came back, expecting to see her friends and reminiscing about the good old times. She had imagined them laughing together and joking around, all of them happy to have finally graduated. She envisioned Naruto and Kiba arguing as usual, over the tiniest matter. Shino would be shaking his head and trying to placate Kiba. Or just sit in one dark corner to search for spiders or any of those icky buggers. Shikamaru would sip beer while muttering "How troublesome." Lee would be prancing about, annoying everyone else. The girls; Hinata, Tenten, Sakura and herself, would be gossiping away. Or Tenten would be trying to talk to Neji while the stoic genius would reply in his monotonous voice. Hinata and Sasuke would cuddle together, and everyone would be treated to Sasuke's rare smiles. Sakura and she would be having one of their usual screaming bitch-fests, although both were secretly pleased to see each other.
She came back and saw none of those. What she did see was Hinata, disowned and living in a ratty old apartment. What shocked her most was the 3-year-old boy standing at Hinata's side. With raven hair that stuck up stubbornly at the back and opalescent Hyuuga eyes, Ino knew immediately whose child that was. Hinata stood limply in the doorway, her face pale and sallow. Her hair, now reaching her waist, no longer had that healthy shine to it. Hinata had always been slim, with a gorgeous figure. But now, she was anorexically thin, her joints poking out, as though painfully. Her eyes, which were always so full of joy and life, were now dead and empty.
When she saw Ino, she fell ungracefully to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. She was like a fallen angel, abandoned by God. On the dirty floor, she lay in an undignified heap, with tears creating rivulets on her sunken cheeks.
Ino stared, not knowing what to do. Oh Kami, what had happened? She felt like vomiting. This was not Hinata. No, it can't be.
But yet it was.
The boy knelt on the floor, next to Hinata. With his small fingers, he lovingly wiped the tears away. He stroked her hair gently, whispering to his mother, "Okaa-san, please don't cry. Shinji's here. I will always be here for you." His voice was oh my lord-- beautiful. The soft angelic voice-- a sound made by an ethereal being. It tugged at her heartstrings; another angel caring for its fallen. He continued stroking Hinata's matted hair, his hands deftly yet softly, working out the kinks in her hair. He repeated his words as his mother cried into his lap.
Looking at the touching scene in front of her, Ino broke down and cried too, her arms wrapped tightly around Hinata's. She could feel each tremor reverberating through Hinata's body, each quake that accompanied her cries. Hinata's stunning voice which had many times, resonated through an auditorium during musicals, was now breaking-- shattering into an ugly parody of it.
She felt another pair of arms enclosing them. She turned and saw Shinji who looked at her with those gentle eyes and Ino breathed out a gasp. All that sincerity and love pouring out of those pastel orbs, blew her away. He smiled at her, as though telling her that everything would be all right.
"You must be Auntie Ino. Okaa-san has told me so much about you. Please don't cry. Shinji will protect you too."
Ino clenched her fists. Whenever she was reminded of that, her heart ripped open, once again. The torrent of anger, spilled in plunging breakers at her feet, attempting to pull her in. But love-- love for Shinji and Hinata had always subsided her fury.
She closed her eyes, willing herself to control her anger. She took deep breaths and when peace had finally settled over her, she opened her eyes.
And saw Uchiha Sasuke standing in front of her.
Sasuke woke up that day with a splitting headache. He hadn't slept well. Hell, he didn't even sleep. All he could think about was...Hinata. And Shinji.
What if he hadn't broken up with Hinata? Would they be leading a happy life together, raising a family? What if Shinji hadn't been born? Would he continue leading his current lifestyle? What if he were to just ignore them? Ignore the fact that he had a child? Ignore the responsibilities that came with it?
All those 'what ifs?' drove him crazy. In his mind, images of...his son came flashing back. It was fucking plain weird thinking that he had a son. When he had met Shinji in Ichiraku, god-- he didn't even care who that kid was! Now, he was forced to think about him. What was his favourite colour? Does he like tomatoes too, like Sasuke? Does he have a sweet tooth like Hinata or does he find sugary treats repulsive, like Sasuke? What was his childhood like? Did he grow up hating his father for not being there for him?
Sasuke's stomach rolled over, nausea churning in it. His tongue was dry. He didn't remember drinking anything besides that bottle of whisky. The bottles of whisky. He remembered chugging down the drinks-- forcing it into his mouth, the whisky burning his throat as it rushed down into his empty stomach. He welcomed the pain and the bitter taste of it. It drowned out reality.
"How many children would you like to have, Sasuke?" Hinata asked, looking up at him as her head lay comfortably in his lap.
They were on the school roof, relaxing and enjoying the breeze before Sasuke had to go off for basketball practice and Hinata to her student council meeting.
"I dunno," replied Sasuke nonchalantly. "Maybe four? Why, you wanna get an early start to it?" he winked suggestively.
Hinata laughed, a melodious tinkling sound being carried by the wind. "Very funny, Sasuke." She looked thoughtful for a moment, her lips pursed and her brows knitting in concentration. "If it's a girl, I wanna name her...Haruka!"
Sasuke smiled. God, how he loved her. "And if it's a boy?"
Sasuke laughed, a crazy angry sound thundering in his room. Hur. Ironic wasn't it?
He ran his hair through his hair angrily, stiff spikes giving him a dangerous and demonic look. There were shadows beneath his eyes, making his onyx eyes even blacker. He hadn't shaved yet, his chin now bristled.
He knocked the contents of his table, colognes crashing onto the floor, papers flying haphazardly in his bedroom. He was furious. Furious with himself for not knowing what to do. Furious with Hinata for making him fall in love with her then. Furious with Shinji for...existing.
He had to get out of his blasted house. He had to do something!
He had to fix this bloody mess.
"S-sasuke! Sasuke-kun! W-what are you doing here?" Ino asked, her heart palpitating. What the the hell was he doing here?!
"Ino. I need to talk to you."
His voice had never changed. It was still the same smooth, baritone voice which had melted many hearts. Except that now, it was richer. More masculine.
"W-well, I would love to, Sasuke-kun. But right now, I'm very busy! I don't think I can," she lied to him, perspiration dotting her temples.
"Ino. I need to talk to you. Come with me. Now." There was that tone of authority which was infamous in high school. No one ever questioned Uchiha Sasuke. Not even the teachers.
Ino tried to calm down and think of another way to decline him. She couldn't go have lunch with him! Who knew what he wanted to talk about?
She looked at him again and her eyes widened. Despite looking cool and handsome in a charcoal black suit which made his eyes seemed much more intense, she saw that he looked...weary. Worried. Angry. Confused.
Just when she was about to open her mouth and say no, he spoke. "Ino, I know."
Her hands shook and she stuffed it into her the pockets of her apron to still it. "W-what are you talking about? Know what?"
Sasuke stared at her, his black eyes pinning her. Suffocating her. "I know that Shinji is my son."
He continued, "And you are going to tell me what the fuck is going on."
Sasuke drove his black Volvo while Ino sat beside him. He could feel the air hostility and frustration from her.
She had originally refused. She had claimed she didn't know what he was talking about.
But he knew she lied because he could see it. The swirls of the secrets in her eyes.
She had then threatened him.
And he threatened her back. "Well, if you don't wish to tell me. I'll have to go directly to her, then. But I don't think Hinata knows I came back to Japan. It'll be a shock to her, don't you think?"
The look that she gave him was of pure outrage and disgust. He had hit her where it hurt the most. Her desire to protect Hinata and Shinji.
Grabbing her coat and purse, she then rushed out with him, leaving her shop to her assistants.
When they had arrived at his penthouse, he walked to the lift, Ino trailing behind him. He gave a nod to the security guard, who bowed politely to them. They rode up the lift in silence. He opened the door and saw his two best friends, seating at the dining room.
"What is this bitch doing here?" Ino snarled when she saw Sakura who looked shocked.
Sakura turned to Sasuke, her eyes full of confusion and fear. "W-what's going on, Sasuke-kun?"
Naruto chimed in, looking confused too, "Yeah. What the hell is going on here, teme?"
Sasuke had called Naruto, asking him to come over to his over and to bring Sakura along. He needed to tell Naruto the news and he knew that Sakura knew something about Hinata and Shinji.
He had enough of secrets.
He gestured impatiently at a chair, beckoning Ino to sit down. Tottering in a menacing pair of Prada pumps, she looked down at Sakura with such deep loathing. With a growl, she grabbed the chair and plunked down on it.
She ignored Naruto and Sakura, merely staring at Sasuke, her blue eyes wintry and cold. "I don't need to tell you anything, Sasuke. You can just ask this whore over here to tell you everything."
Naruto was stupefied. "What's wrong with you, Ino? Why are you being so rude to Sakura? Don't talk to her like that! She didn't do anything to you!"
Ino turned to Naruto, her eyes now wild with rage. "Shut the fuck up! You don't know what the hell is going on so shut your piehole!" She breathed heavily as she stared daggers at Naruto. When Naruto looked more confused than mad, she went on, aggravated. "You really don't know what's going on?! FYI, your best friend here--"
Sasuke cut in, his words now steel. "Ino--"
Ino ignored Sasuke, plundering on, "--actually has a child!"
Naruto looked at Ino, his mouth gaped open and his eyes wide with shock. Sakura looked at neither, merely staring at her lap, her fists clenching, her pink talons digging half-moons into her palm.
Naruto turned slowly to Sasuke. "Dude...Tell me this is a joke."
Ino snorted. "A joke?!" She went on cruelly, ignoring Sasuke's attempts to stop her. A sadistic played on her lips. "Let me tell you a joke! Well, once upon a time, there lived a happy couple. They were perfect together! Or so that was what people thought. Then one day, Princess Hinata wanted to tell Prince Sasuke that she was expecting. But before she could do that, the prince dumped her. Why? Because he was a stupid fuckhead who couldn't think on his own and instead listened to advice given by a slut of a witch named Sakura!! Now do you still think that's a fucking joke?!"
"Ino!" Sasuke's voice rang. "Stop it!"
Ino turned to him and shot, "What? Can't handle the truth?" Her eyes gleaming viciously, her blue eyes cutting into his.
Naruto cut in, looking sick, "W-who's the kid?"
Sasuke sighed. "You've...met him. It's the kid from Ichiraku."
Naruto stared at him, his eyes wide open. "You mean that black-haired kid?"
Ino snapped in an outrage, "That kid has a name! Shinji."
"But that kid's-- Shinji must be pretty old already! We saw him wearing Konoha Academy's elementary uniform!"
"He's eight! That's not old!"
Naruto slumped in his seat, "Eight?! So... this means it happened in high school?!" He sat straight up, finally figuring it out. He said to Sasuke, "You told me that Hinata and you broke up amicably!"
Ino snorted. "Amicably, my ass! He broke up with her the day before graduation!" She sighed wearily, her shoulders slumped, a sad smile now marring her face. "Hyuuga Hinata's life ended when she saw 18."
Naruto looked horrified and opened his mouth to say something but Ino continued, not noticing any of them. Her eyes were glazed and her words were laden with sadness and misery.
"The day when Sasuke broke up with her was the day that Hinata lost part of herself. She went home that day and angry and scared, she told Hiashi of her pregnancy."
She looked at Sasuke and Naruto. "Did you know why she didn't come to the graduation ceremony?"
Naruto answered, his face wary, "Hiashi told us that she went overseas."
Ino nodded, her sharp blue eyes now dull. "We all had assumed that she skipped graduation because she was sad that Sasuke and she separated. We...we believed this asshole's words," her eyes at Sasuke's direction, "when he said that he and Hinata had separated amicably."
"But you know what really happened?" Her voice now raised an octave higher. "Hinata didn't come to school because she was actually in a hospital!"
Sasuke and Naruto looked at her, flabbergasted. "When Hiashi found out about her pregnancy, he beat her up so badly that she had to be sent to the hospital. It was a miracle that the foetus survived! The bastard actually wanted her...to abort the baby."
Sasuke couldn't breathe. He felt bile rising in his throat.
Ino went on, "What? You guys shocked? I haven't even gotten to the main part." And so she continued, she spurted out all the secrets that she had been keeping. She was sick of it! She wanted them to suffer like she had, like what the rest of their friends had, when they found out about Hinata's circumstances. "Hiashi then disowned her. Tossed her out onto the streets with nothing. Nothing whatsoever! No money, no clothes, nothing!"
"Hiashi didn't even allow her to keep the Hyuuga surname. Said that she didn't deserve to have his name. But Hinata fought for it. Argued that since her mother was a Hyuuga, she was one too. Hence, the Hyuuga that was now her surname actually belonged to her mother's maiden name."
"All of us didn't know what happened to her because we all then went to colleges abroad. Neji was already in Yale and Hanabi was in an overseas boarding school. So nobody knew about Hinata."
"Because she was pregnant and penniless, she had no choice but to give up her Yale scholarship." They knew how hard she had worked to attain that. Being admitted to Yale was one of her childhood dreams. "She gave birth alone. No one knew about it. She went through the pain alone."
Silent tears now forced down her cheeks as she recounted Hinata's past. Her heart burned, the anguish hurting her. "When Neji finally found out, he was horrified. He bought her an apartment, gave her money...but she refused."
"Well...you know how stubborn Hinata can be. She didn't want help. She was determined to succeed on her own. So she worked several jobs to support Shinji and herself." She forced out a laugh. "Can you believe it? The ex-Hyuuga heiress was reduced to cleaning toilets for a living!"
Ino waited for that to sink in. She wanted them to envision in. See her pain. Feel it. "But she did it. She inherited a pub from dear old Tatsuya-san. That was one of the shops that she had worked in. God bless him. She renovated it. Gave it a whole new concept. She made it a success. That was her big break. Then, she became an author. Now, she's rich and all her wealth came from her own sweat, blood and tears."
Naruto said, his voice soft and resigned, "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry to hear that."
Silence ensued, the air thick and heavy with tension.
"But what does Sakura have to do with all of these?" he asked nervously.
A dark mask of anger clouded Ino's face, her sapphire eyes now turning cobalt in vexation. "Everything!"
Naruto tried to calm her down, "Come on, Ino…Don't be unreasonable…"
Ino snapped, "I'm not! The bitch here was the one who broke them up!"
Naruto stopped, words dying in his mouth.
"B-but that's not true! It must be a mista--"
"A mistake?! Is that what you think?! Why don't you ask her? Why don't you ask her to tell you about how she tried to manipulate Sasuke into thinking that dumping Hinata would be for the best?!"
"Ino, please!" shouted Sakura, tears glazing her emerald eyes.
Ino turned to Sakura and spat hatefully, "You thought I didn't know that you were telling Sasuke about how he was actually hindering Hinata? About how he should actually live a little and not to be tied down by commitments?! You put those ideas in his head, you bitch! I heard you! At first, I didn't think much of it because I thought it was just a mistake. I thought the reason why Hinata and Sasuke broke up was because both needed space. Then, do you remember New Year's when we were twenty? I went over to your house and we had a few drinks. Then…you being all drunk, suddenly blabbed to me about how you were so glad that Sasuke-kun dumped Hinata. How Hinata-chan really didn't deserve him. You told me, Sakura! You told me about what you did! You made Sasuke feel guilty for tying Hinata down!"
"It's true! Hinata didn't deserve him! She never loved him like I did!" Sakura burst out, her pretty face contorting with fury.
Sasuke stared at Sakura. His eyes were…unreadable. There were too many emotions swirling in it for them to be read. "You…you did that to me?"
"I did it for us, Sasuke-kun! We're meant to be together! But you just couldn't see that! You…you were too blinded by…her!"
"She was your best friend, Sakura! She trusted you! Fuck, I trusted you!" Sasuke screamed, slamming his hands on the mahogany table. He now stood, his eyes wild with loathing.
Sakura jerked. She wanted him to see that she was right. She needed him to. She pleaded, "Sasuke, I love you! I've always loved you! I was there for you whenever you needed me! I was there for you when your parents died! I bet…Hinata didn't even know that your parents died! I bet she wouldn't even have cared!"
Ino slapped her. "Shut up! Don't you fucking dare talk like that. You didn't know what she went through after they died! Did you know how long Shinji cried when he realised that Obaa-san and Ojii-san would never visit again?!"
Sasuke went cold. "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"N-nothing," squeaked Ino, looking guilty and scared.
"Are you saying that my parents knew about this?" asked Sasuke softly, his voice deadly. His black eyes pierced hers. "Tell me the truth, Ino."
Ino closed her eyes, looking as weary as ever. "Yes."
There was a sharp intake of breath from Sakura and a look of shock from Naruto. Ino looked at Sasuke straight in the eyes, "Yes, your parents knew about this."
When nobody said anything, Ino continued, her voice pained, "Before you get mad at them, you have to understand the situation. Your parents didn't know about it at first. They found out about it right after Neji did. They were shocked and upset. They wanted Hinata and Shinji to live with them, but like I'd said, Hinata was just too stubborn. And besides, it would be very suspicious if anyone were to find out that the ex-Hyuuga heiress was living with the Uchiha family."
"Why didn't they tell me?!" demanded Sasuke angrily.
"They wanted to! They wanted to tell you so badly! But," sighed Ino, "Hinata threatened to kill herself. And Shinji."
Naruto interrupted, looking horrified, "Hinata would never do that!"
"At that time, she was in a bout of depression. She didn't eat, she didn't sleep. She was volatile. Your parents didn't want to do anything that would antagonize her. So for hers and Shinji's safety, they never told you about it."
Ino looked at Sasuke, gauging his feelings. When she saw that he still hadn't said anything, she continued, "After that, Hinata started recovering. Surrounded by Neji, Hanabi and your parents, she became more cheerful. She was almost like her old self. They helped her. They took care of Shinji while she worked. They could have easily given her money but Hinata refused. She was adamant on working to support her own family. So they came around often to look after Shinji while Hinata worked and studied. She resumed her studies after that, taking up courses."
Ino now smiled, "Shinji loved them. He loved his Obaa-san and Ojii-san. Both Auntie Mikoto and Uncle Fugaku pampered him. They brought him out on outings, taught him how to ride a bicycle, everything. They loved him so much. But when they died in the accident," her smile was now gone, "Hinata became depressed again. She couldn't do anything. That was when the rest of us came back. We found out about it and tried to help her but she was just so…dead. She locked herself in her room, refusing to talk to anyone. Once, when Neji came around, he found Shinji sleeping outside Hinata's room. Shinji hadn't eaten for days!"
"Then, one day, Hinata saw him sitting at the piano, his stubby fingers struggling to play the correct keys. Auntie Mikoto had always sat there, teaching him music. When Hinata saw that, she finally snapped out from her current state. Ever since then, she never left Shinji alone. And right now, she's happy living her life."
Naruto asked, "Does Shinji know about…Sasuke?"
Ino murmured, "He only knows that his father died when he was small. Hinata couldn't bear telling him that his father didn't even know he existed. She didn't want him to grow up, hating his own father."
Sasuke was silent. There was so much more that he wanted to ask. There was so much more that he needed to know. He was just so confused! He didn't know what to do!
"Did you throw away her letters?" Ino's voice broke the silence.
Sasuke looked at Ino who was now expecting an answer from Sakura.
"Yes," Sakura whispered, her head bowed down in shame.
Ino pushed back her chair and lunged at Sakura, her face now streaked with angry tears. "I knew it! You fucking bitch!"
Sasuke and Naruto jumped into action. Sasuke restrained Ino who was now clawing at Sakura while Naruto held Sakura, protecting her from the blonde's vicious assault. "Ino! Calm down! What the hell is going on?" snarled Sasuke, still holding onto Ino. God, just how strong is this woman?
"Why don't you tell him, Sakura?! Tell him!" shrieked Ino, her arms and legs kicking away.
"Hinata had sent you letters, Sasuke," whispered Sakura softly.
Sasuke let go of Ino. His heart stopped again.
"It was our first year in college. Hinata…sent you letters, telling you about her pregnancy. At first, I didn't believe it. But…she continued sending letters and she even sent her doctor's medical reports. I…threw it all away," murmured Sakura. She sobbed quietly, her shoulders quaking. Naruto released her, disgust apparent on his face.
"She called Sasuke too, didn't she?" asked Ino, her face furious.
Sakura nodded slowly, her emerald eyes savage with tears. "After the letters, she…she called his phone but Sasuke wasn't there so…I picked it up—"
"And you told her to stop calling because Sasuke was now going out with you, am I right?!"
Sakura nodded pathetically, too ashamed to look at anyone.
"You told her that Sasuke didn't give a 'flying fuck about her or the child', right?!"
Before Ino could move towards that god-damned bitch, there was a flash from behind her and the next thing she knew, Sasuke had slapped Sakura.
"I hate you. Get out of my house now."
When Sakura looked at him in shock, clutching her bruised cheek, Sasuke roared, "I said get out of my house right now!"
Sakura whimpered and grabbed her bag and coat, tugging at the door and saw—
LOL, I bet some of you are hating me right now. I hate reading cliffhangers but I love writing it!
This chapter is a lot to absorb! So do read it thoroughly so that you won't miss vital points :) Why is Hinata at Sasuke's doorstep? Well then, you'll have to read the next chapter to find out, won't you?
Haruka: spring child
LOL, I was checking the meaning of their names and I was pleasantly surprised to find out the meaning of "Shinji"! When I first chose his name, I totally didn't know that. I merely chose it because I wanted his name to start with 'S' like Sasuke's. The meaning totally ties in with the story because due to Shinji, Sasuke finally found out the truth. I chose the name "Haruka" because it's connected to Hinata. Hinata means a sunny place and so geddit? Sun and spring? Yep :)))
This chapter was a pain to write because I had to include so many things in it. I had to change the contents a couple of times. Ino was supposed to tell Sasuke the truths at a restaurant but it's kinda stupid because then they would be screaming and stuff and I don't think even McDonald's would like it if suddenly, this really handsome black-haired guy just jumped up screaming obscenities at a pink-haired woman while waving around a Big Mac :P
I hope you've enjoyed reading this chapter. I'm looking forward to your reviews! :D