Chapter 23: Fighting the Beast Within

Hinata and Rokai charged at each other full speed. Hinata thrust forward a chakra filled palm, but the demon side stepped it. The demon smirked and slashed at Hinata's unguarded back. Hinata winced as the claws made contact, and countered with a gentle blow to the arm. Both of them jumped back. Hinata cringed as she felt the damage the claws made, and the demon held its arm. In a moment the demon's arm was completely healed.

"My, my," Rokai taunted, "is this all you can do without my help?"

Hinata narrowed her eyes as she charged again. Rokai countered by kneeing Hinata just as she got in range. Hinata staggered back slightly, but the demon grabbed Hinata's face with it's right arm and lifted her above the ground slightly.

"This is what I'm saying." Rokai started. "You can do nothing without my power. Without me, you are just a shy, weak, twelve year old girl." The Gobi lifted it's left hand and the claws sharpened. The demon sliced Hinata's shoulder deeply and then threw her back.

"You're wrong.." Hinata said shakily. "You're wrong..!" She launched a Shadow Bite toward the demon. The Gobi smiled and countered it with the same attack.

"You don't get it, do you?!" the demon yelled as it charged at a high speed. "You can't defeat me! No matter what you throw at me, I'll throw it right back! You have no hope of winning! I know everything you can do! I AM you!!"

Hinata had no time to react as the demon appeared in front of her. It delivered a powerful punch to Hinata's stomach and used an uppercut to the chin to send Hinata in the air. Rokai appeared above her and kicked her midsection, sending her into the water below.


Naruto sat in a chair next to the hospital bed Hinata was in. He looked at her face for a moment. Her eyes were partly open, but they had the look of a dead person.. No! He couldn't think like that. Hinata was definitely going to wake up. She just had to..

"Come on, Hinata," he muttered. "You have to come back. You have to.."


Hinata was now breathing heavily. Sweat and water dripped off her face and her shoulder dripped blood. She had to end this, but the demon knew everything she had. Every attack she had the demon had.

The Gobi smiled as a sword formed in its hand. The hilt was in the shape of a wolf's head. Hinata narrowed her eyes through the pain, and let out a Roaring Howl.

Rokai smiled and used the same attack. The two attacks collided and caused a small explosion. When the smoke cleared, Rokai's eyes widened as Hinata thrust forward her palm. The demon tried to dodge, but took the blow to the ribs rather than the intended target, its heart. The Gobi kicked Hinata away, and ran forward with the sword in hand. The demon swung, and made contact with Hinata's side.

Hinata grunted in pain and grasped the blade with her right hand. She started to drive the sword away and managed to knock the blade away and into the water. The demon narrowed it's eyes and punched Hinata, sending her a few feet back.

Hinata looked up only to be knocked on her back by a Shadow Bite making contact with her ribcage. The intensity of the chakra actually burning her shirt and some of her skin. Hinata just lay on her back in pain, her eyes only partly open and her breathing heavy.

Rokai transformed back into it's original form and walked over to where Hinata lay. A small sneer formed as it observed Hinata's bloody and bruised body. The demon opened it's mouth and what appears to be mutilated and bloody corpses mixed and mashed together come out. The corpses reach down and grab Hinata and slowly pull her into the demon's mouth. Once Hinata is completely inside the demon's mouth, the demon closed it, smiling at its victory.


Naruto just stared at Hinata's face for a moment. Why..? Why did she have to suffer now? He just wished that he could help in some way. He gave Hinata's hand a gentle squeeze. "Come on, Hinata.. Come back.." he pleaded, tears ready to form in his eyes.


The inside of the demon was filled with those corpse like nightmares all mashed together with thick blood. Hinata was barely conscious, at this point. She figured that the bodies were the people the demon consumed. They were moaning words, but Hinata couldn't make them out. The corpses and the blood firmly held Hinata where she was, not that she had the strength to fight back anymore..

Is this it..? she wondered faintly. Various memories were running through her mind. When Naruto's face popped into her mind, her eyes widened. Naruto-kun wouldn't give up! Not without trying..! Not without fighting! Hinata started summoning the last of her strength, and started to concentrate.


The demon just sat quietly, waiting for the rest of Hinata's strength to be absorbed.

"What?!" it yelled in surprise as it felt a sudden pain. Its eyes drifted down. What he saw was Hinata's foot sticking out between where two of his teeth used to be.

"Let me out!! I'm not going out without a fight!!" she yelled despite the fact that the demons insides were trying to pull her back in. "I'll break all of your teeth if I have to!"

The Gobi's eyes narrowed. She still has some fight left in her.. it mused. The demon immediately snapped it's head to the side and back, spitting Hinata out in the process.

Hinata landed on both of her feet. The demon turned towards her, and transformed back into her. The demon started gathering all of its power. Hinata did the same. The two charged each other, yelling, giving their last blows all they got. The two attacks connected and light engulfed the whole area.


Naruto's eyes widened as he saw Hinata's eyes dim slightly. He knew what that meant.. She was dying..

"Hinata.." he said crying. "Come on.. You cant die.. Because.." I love you.. he finished in his head.


The demon's claws were dug into Hinata's chest, and Hinata's chakra blazing palm was directly over where the demon's heart was supposed to be. Hinata was on her knees and the lower half of the demon's body had faded away.

The Gobi's expression softened and it looked up. "I see it now. Why you were not overwhelmed by my power. You have yet to have been touched by the hatred of the world. You witnessed it, but have not been tainted by it.. You aim to stop the flow of hatred by your own power, not by a power that is not your own." it continues. "All the others before you wished to use my power for their own gain. You are different." Hinata's eyes were partly open, but still could make out what the demon was saying. "You are an interesting one, pup.." the demon finishes as the rest of it fades away.

A small smile graced Hinata's lips as everything went white. She had won..


The next thing Hinata saw was a hospital ceiling. She heard the faint sound of crying. She turned her head slightly to see Naruto sitting in a chair next to her bed.

"N-Naruto-kun..?" she asked faintly still a little dazed.

Naruto faced her and relief and happiness spread across her face. "Hinata!" he yelled happily. He threw his arms around her and embraced her making sure he wasn't dreaming. Hinata blushed furiously. She checked her surroundings to see that she was in a hospital. Naruto released her and smiled. "You okay?"

Hinata nodded and undid the oxygen mask. She also registered at the back of her mind that she bandages and gauze wrapped around her head.

"I thought I lost you.." Naruto mutters.

Hinata's eyes widened. Did he mean that he..? "W-what are you saying, Naruto-kun?"

"What I'm trying to say is.." he leaned closer so his mouth was next to her ear. "I love you."

Hinata's eyes tried to roll back in her head, but Hinata fought to stay conscious. Did he just say that? Was she dreaming? "W-what d-did you say?" she asked making sure she heard right.

"I said I love you." he repeats.

Tears fell from Hinata's eyes. She never thought that she would hear those words from him.

Naruto looks in worry as Hinata continues crying. "Hinata..? I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you cry. If you have feelings for someone else I understand.."

Hinata looks at him, and throws her arms around him. "N-Naruto-kun.. You don't know how much i-it means to m-me that you said that.." she managed to say. "F-for a long t-time I wanted t-to tell you that, b-but I was too afraid.."

Naruto smiled and held Hinata for a few moments. When she pulled back, Naruto surprised her when his lips met hers. She blushed and kissed back.

Sakura, who had been standing outside the door, smiled. "About time she said it." she says to herself.

When Naruto and Hinata finished, Sakura walked in. "Hinata, it's good to see that you're awake."

Hinata smiled back.

"Oh, Naruto's here?" Sakura asked setting up a little plan. "You two didn't do anything while I was gone did you?" she teased.

Naruto stared at Sakura for a moment. A loud thud was heard and Naruto's head spun around. Hinata had fallen , face first and her legs straight up, off the bed from both shock and embarrassment at Sakura's tease. Sakura started laughing. Hinata realized that Sakura said that just to tease her.

"That's not funny." Hinata said, her face still to the floor. Sakura's laughs subsided and she bent down to help Hinata up.

"Sorry." she apologized. "Couldn't resist."

Hinata had got back up on the hospital bed and rubbed her head.

Sakura got Hinata a glass of water. As Hinata drank it Sakura spoke. "Tsunade-sama, is going to come in for a check up in a few minutes." She turned to Naruto. "Meaning you have to leave."

Naruto nodded and left with Sakura, leaving Hinata with her thoughts. Hinata smiled. Naruto said he loves her and even kissed her! She was really happy about that. She always afraid that Naruto was going to reject her or make fun of her, but he shares the same feelings.

As Sakura said, Tsunade came in minutes later. "It's nice to see you awake. Everyone's been worried bout you." she smiled.


Naruto was sitting in the hospital waiting area. A few minutes later Hinata walked out. Naruto smiled and he and Hinata walked out of the hospital together.