Neji'sTrueLover: Wahhh!-stretches as she walks out from a cave and rubs eyes-Hello! To those of you who don't know, I'm Neji'sTrueLover. He is mine and no one else's! But he can't come today because I locked him in a closet at the end of my last story until I got 30 reviews. (Please feel free to check it out (and help him escape. I haven't heard any noise coming from there in a looooong time-sweatdrops-)) Anyway, this is my first NejiHina story and I hope that you all enjoy. As I said in the summery, this story deals with death and should not be read by younger people. (I watched a really sad movie and felt that I needed to write something tragic two days ago, and this is what came out.)
The italics are for flashbacks. The normal writing is for the present.
Summery:What would you do if you lost your favorite person? Would you weep? Would you ignore? ...Could you live?
Disclaimer: I in no way shape or form take credit for the characters.
On this date, a much valued shinobi was taken from the grasp of the village of Leaf. A kunoichi's life tragically cut short by the unforgiving hand of fate. The bleak weariness of the darkened sky shadowing even the ever un-breaking spirit of the village orphan Uzumaki Naruto, created a drowning effect no one could escape on the day of the funeral.
Dressed in a somber black attire, each member of the rookie nine, though no longer genin but skilled jonin and Anbu, along with team Gai, came to pay their respects to their fallen comrade. Uchiha Sasuke included, being brought back four years previously. Some followed behind the crowd to avoid the tearing Haruno Sakura and Yamanaka Ino; namely one white-eyed Hyuga Neji. His normally confident stride being hindered by the memories of his deceased cousin.
Hyuga Hinata had been missing for a total of seventeen days, six hours, and forty nine minutes when a team of tracker nin Anbu had found her unconscious body near the edge of the border. She was admitted to the hospital immediately once returned to the village under the head medical master Tsunade. Of the team of tracker nin, consisting of a Hound, Feline, Bear, and Raven, only the latter was allowed to remain.
After three hours of tense anxiety, the medical ninja emerged from the examining room. Wiping her uncovered forehead, she gave the Raven a strained glance. "I have her in a stable condition: her life is no longer in any danger. But now is not the best time to approach her."
Disregarding the warning, Raven entered the confinement of Hyuga Hinata. Tsunade watched as the head of her Anbu unit left with concerned eyes.
Neji tread slowly through the empty pathways of the village, separating himself from the rest of the enormity to have an uninterrupted silence. Alone with his thoughts, he pondered the unusual creature that was his cousin. Small, frail, powerful Hinata who was as close to, if not higher then, in skill level as he.
Raven carefully slid the door open so not to startle the frail woman sitting at the edge of the window. Wondering at the distant expression her pale eyes hold, he soundlessly approached her. She made not a single twitch as he rendered closer.
Cautiously relieving himself of his mask, Raven leaned closer and gently stroked the bandaged arm of his partner, unconsciously tracing the lines of the wounds he had vividly seen just hours ago. Hinata took her time in changing her gaze from the setting sun over the horizon to the man next to her.
As if time had slowed, Hinata turned her head in such miniscule movements; Raven could clearly see the burning sky's reflection in her lavender eyes. His breath caught as the glow from the outside world captured her beauty, giving her the appearance of the fallen goddess.
Their eyes met and the feeling of intimacy was as strong as any lover's.
Hinata's ruby, petal-like lips opened to release her first words to him: "Who are you?"
The shock caused Raven's body to freeze, and in his midst of inner turmoil, he failed to notice the pair of footsteps that crept closer to them. "I told you that you shouldn't see her." Raven's eyes searched the hollowed ones of the woman before him but cannot find any deception. "She has a severe case of amnesia. She cannot even recall the events of her capture."
Hinata looked questioningly up at him. The innocence in his partner's eyes he had not witnessed since their childhood days.
He ruefully recoiled back. "My name…is Hyuga Neji."
Neji halted to gaze solemnly at the blackening atmosphere; his mind in complete chaos of that moment where he had to explain who he was to his cousin. The days that followed where he worked diligently to regain her memory…The feelings of failure and hopelessness that encased his heart and mind after returning home every night without any advancement.
His fingers clenched and unclenched, his memory fast forwarding to a more optimistic period.
It had been nine days, fourteen hours, and seven minutes since Hinata was returned to the village. Her captures, Neji was told, were from the village hidden in the Shadows, wanting to gain the secret of the Byakugan, then reselling her to the village once she was of no more use. Apparently, she had managed to escape but was unable to return to the Leaf before fatigue and dehydration caught a hold.
Neji was willing to wage war against them, but could find no logical proof that would justify to the Hokage.
Before returning to his home, Hinata had given Neji a lone piece of hope that he had not had for some time. "Neji-nii-san…" Neji turned sharply to her. "What?"
"Neji-nii-san. That was what I called you before, is it not?" Neji felt his heart constrict painfully from a source he could not understand. "Yes. That is what you called me."
Hinata smiled in satisfaction, then unexpectedly encased one of Neji's hands in both of her small, feeble ones. "One day…I promise I'll get my memory back. And you'll be the first to know."
Neji closed his eyes in a small show of contentment. "And I promise that I'll be right by your side all the way." The warmth of Hinata holding his hand left him and caused the opening of his all-seeing eyes. She held her delicate pinky out, reminding him of their shared childhood. "Pinky swear?"
Even though he thought the act was below him, Neji wrapped his own right hand pink around hers in the oath children made. "Pinky swear."
Hinata once again cradled his hand in the palms of hers and gently pulled it to her cheek. Her soft skin sent a spark of electricity to his body that he had never felt before. "I hope…that my first memory is of you…Neji-kun."
The funeral was long: the entire village, in some shape or form, had come to show their appreciation to the most skilled Anbu commander under Neji himself. Her friends wept as they said their farewells, and placed a flower onto the white coffin that held her body.
Some say that death could bring out the beauty of people; Hinata looked no different to Neji then if she had just fallen asleep.
Each flower that surrounded her was different: full of red, yellow, and pink roses, the beautiful lavenders she always smelled of, orchids of different sizes, and tulips of every color in existence. Though each was very unique in its own way, Neji had chosen for his personally obtained blue rose to be placed in her hands and a single white lily to be entwined perfectly in her hair.
She wore a lavender kimono with delicate patterns imprinted expertly over every inch of fabric, with a few choice phrases hidden within the embodied symbols. Only a touch of make up was allowed on her face: some blush to add a hint of color and a light sliver eye shadow to compliment her hair.
Neji was the last to see her. He caressed her cold yet still soft cheek before giving the signal to light the flame. He walked away as the wooden box caught on fire and did not turn his back as the perfume of all the flower scents erupted into the air.
"Tsunade," he heard the rosette haired girl tearfully speak, "a case of poisoned pills is missing from the store room."
"It should be nothing. Ibiki had said that he needed some for his trip." Neji paced past the females and entered the condemning shadows.
As he returned home, Neji noticed a white dove caught in the thorn of a tree branch; its feathers beginning to stain crimson due to the wound on its pierced neck. He carefully freed the bird and it flew into a higher branch where he could not reach.
The rustle of leaves caught his attention as a midnight raven came out and stalked to the dove. Its massive wings captured the helpless creature as the raven lowered its beak to the other's neck. Neji was certain that the raven would kill the dove when it opened its mouth, but instead of snapping down on the injured bird, he gently nibbled around the wound; cutting away any loose feathers that could aggravate the cut.
Neji was awe struck by the show of tenderness. It was almost as if the dove had known what the raven was planning on doing since she didn't escape. The amount of trust there had to be in a creature that cold easily kill you at any time…reminded him of Hinata.
The heavy cloud finally exerted their promise of rain and dropped all around him. His eyes pricked, and the tears he was unable to shed for weeks were at last released.
He dropped to his knees and wept.
On his way to the Konoha hospital, a loud explosion took the thoughts of the Anbu Hyuga. He raced to the building, but got caught in the confusion of dust and debris. Covering his mouth so not to breathe in the materials, Neji made his way to the Hokage. "What happened?" She made no movement to acknowledge his presence, but replied to the man next to her.
"The paper bombs were embedded in the wall. With an explosion that large, it had to be meant that she would not survive." Finally understanding that this was Hinata's room, the Hyuga immediately activated his powerful Byakugan eyes and ran into the destruction.
Finding no track of his cousin, Neji enhanced the amount of chakra trailing into his eyes so that even the smallest hint of released chakra would be seen. He observed the multiple lines left from her earlier movements, then noticed a pulsing blue path leading outside the once large window. Jumping from the fifth floor room, he follows Hinata's trace.
Entering the dense forest at a faster pace then when he started, Neji used every extraordinary sense he obtained to find even a slimmer of Hinata's essence.
Seeing what appeared to be one…no two figures ahead, the head Anbu forced his speed to go even faster. He wastes no time jumping into the view of the perpetrator and blocked any escape route possible. The kidnapper's headband was strapped around his right arm, with, instead of a village symbol engraved at the center, an unwavering black patch that showed no glimmer of silver underneath.
"Return the Heiress and your life shall be spared. For the moment."
The man gives a twisted grin that sent a shudder done Neji's spine. Ungracefully, the man tossed the unconscious body of the female Hyuga to the ground. Neji inwardly winced when her petite form hit a small pile of rocks in such a way that he knew would form bruises at a later time. He released an inhuman-like growl.
Lowering into his attacking pose, the Hyuga genius began the combat. Gaining almost no advantage with his normal taijutsu, Neji changed into his 128-Palm Technique to quickly end the battle.
After closing each chakra point on the man's body, Neji sent a full blast of his chakra through the other's heart. The force of the strike threw the Shadow ninja into an uncountable number of trees. Fully convinced that his opponent was dead, Neji moves to his cousin's side.
An almost silent, uninterrupted sizzle caught the attention of the Anbu, and before he could fully comprehend what it meant, the short fuse connected with the hidden paper bomb attached to the Shadow's body.
Fifteen days, fourteen hours, and fifty six minutes had passed since Hinata cremation. For the past two weeks, Neji had refused to accept any mission given to him, and instead completed unfinished works he had left in the past. As if following a mental checklist, he diligently complied every errand without a second thought.
Trudging down the path of the Konoha cemetery, Neji mindlessly approached the plot reserved for Hyugas. He made a quick stop to two familiar tombstones: paying his respects and whispering a final farewell to his deceased father and mother. Then, he moved forward to the main family crossover.
With the rising moon as his witness and the threatening clouds overhead, Neji made his way to the still freshly dug resting place of the Hyuga heiress.
The paper bombs exploded and Neji was unable to protect himself from the thousands of kunai and shuriken cascading toward him. Defenseless yet prideful, Neji prepared himself for the oncoming attack. He closed his pale orbs in a show of defeat.
Yet instead of the awaited pain, a wind rushed past Neji's face that forced his eyes open. Stood in front of him, Hinata used her Protection of the Eight Trigrams to deflect the many weapons. Each metal object fell to the ground with a 'clunk' as her defenses slowed down. But before either Anbu could make a move, a stray kunai flew past her shield and collided with her body. Before she could fall, Neji caught her within the cradle of his arms.
Buried deep within her chest, the single kunai was removed by Neji's gentle touch. Activating his Byakugan, he saw that the wound pierced a lung so harshly; there would be no time to have it healed before it filled with blood.
Hinata coughed the crimson liquid and a trail was left running down her chin. "Hinata…"
"N-Neji-kun…I k-kept my promise: I r-remembered m-my past."
Neji's mind was incapable of believing what his heart knew: she was dying. "Save your energy. I'll bring you to Tsunade-" She offered him a smile of knowing acceptance: she understood. "I-I'm so happy…that my first m-memories…were of you."
His eyes glazed with unshed tears. "Don't leave me."
She gave a humorless laugh. "W-was I finally a-able…to d-defy m-my destiny of w-weakness?" Neji gave her hand a squeeze. "Yes."
She smiled. "That's g-good." Her gaze drifted to the blackening sky.
"M-my only regret…i-is not t-telling you…that I-I…" With the remainder of her strength, Hinata brought her head closer to Neji's, until they were only a breath apart. "T-that I-I…love you." She connected her lips to Neji's in a passionate kiss. Before long though, her body turned cold and he retreated with her blood smeared on his lips. He traced every detail of her moonlit, porcelain face as a midnight raven perched itself onto a tree branch. It watched as the man sobbed into the beautiful doll's neck.
Once he stood above the headstone, Neji tenderly placed a bouquet of lavenders and white cherry blossoms against the marble surface. His gaze outlined each word carved onto the stone that he had memorized so many times before: Here rests Hyuga Hinata-a skilled shinobi; a valued friend; a loveable family member. Her life tragically cut short at the age of eighteen, she will not be erased from the memories of the people who loved her the most. We will not forget you Hyuga Hinata: an angel who had graced this world with her presence.
Neji lowered his head to hide his glass-like eyes.
"I cannot live without you. I tried, but I just…" He released a malice filled laugh. "I failed you Hinata, and I hope that you can someday forgive me." He took out a navy case from his pocket and shook it so that only a single black pill emerged. He replaced the box from where it originated.
Bringing it to his lips, he whispered one final sentence: "I just wish that I had enough courage to tell you…that I loved you." He threw the pill into his mouth as a clap of thunder reminded the world of reality.
With a single bite, the pill broke in two and the body of the head Anbu tracking unit collapsed to the ground.
A couple consisting of a pure white dove and a mysterious darkened raven observed as the man fell and the sky shed its own tears.
Yet not every water droplet that fell to the earth belonged to the heavens.
Me: Well that was...bad. But I hope that you all enjoyed! (My friend cried when she read it. Is it really that sad? Or was it so horrible that it made her eyes water? An unending question that will haunt me for the rest of--ohh what's that?!)
Me: See that pretty little button there at the bottom that says review? Please press it!! I need feedback! Flames are accepted, but please be kind, this is my first NejiHina fic. Thanks for reading! (And if anyone wants to know -Neji's voice rings in the back of my mind: No they don't!- I have become a beta reader. Just a small detail you might not have known)