Neji'sTrueLover: Hello! I got bored and decided to make a Hinax fic. This is my first multi-chapter, so please go easy on me. I suddenly had this idea pop into my head as I was lying awake in my bed at 11:57 p.m. a few days ago and it refused to go away. I did some research on flowers for this story and was pleasantly surprised at some of their meanings. This chapter focuses on the iris-meaning faith, hope, and wisdom.

Normal writing means present

Italic writing means past and thoughts

Disclaimer: From now on, I'm only going to put the disclaimer on the first chapter. It just saves time and energy. So here it goes –takes a deep breath- I do NOT own any of the characters from the Naruto series, they belong to the genius Masashi Kishimoto. If they did belong to me, Neji would already be with Hinata and Sasuke would not be such a jerk. (no offence!)

Me: I hope that you all enjoy the first chapter of -I Am Your Knight-

It had been fourteen days, twelve hours, and twenty…seven minutes since Neji had left for his mission, but Hinata wasn't counting.

Hinata sat near her bedroom window, fingers mindlessly drumming, as she stared into the vastly empty courtyard. Her eyes were glued to the main entrance gate as if willing her nii-san to appear.

It's not that she didn't trust he was alright, no she knew that he was a very talented shinobi, but the last time he went on a solo Jonin mission he returned mattered, chakra-drained, and barely alive…

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Hinata rushed to the hospital when a servant had told her that Neji had returned. Running past the many civilians, she managed to make the normally fifteen minute trip skim into a five one: a new record. After receiving the room number she wanted, Hinata sped to her destination.

Quickly finding it on the fourth floor, Hinata took a deep breath and gathered all her courage to welcome Neji back. She slid the door open, stepped inside, and froze. Her already opened mouth, to say her greetings, refused to make any noise.

Lying on the bed was a…doll. A horrible figure meant to look like her cousin. The doll had many deep wounds, some still heavily bleeding, with bloodied clothes covering it. It had many needles, funny how they knew that the real Neji hated needles, poking into its arms: a clear liquid being drained from them. The doll's body was still, obviously, but they had a breathing mask that covered the mouth and nose. And its skin, its pale, transparent skin, was bleached white: the painted veins the only color it was given.

On the left bedside stood the Hokage, Tsunade, talking to her apprentice, Sakura, and her assistant, Shizune. "-Barely stopped the blood flow. Getting his heart to start again was very lucky."

Then another sound caught Hinata's attention: a loud, thump-like ring coming from the opposite side of the bed. A ding, which was normally associated with a heart monitor, that had long intervals between each beep brought Hinata back to reality.

"Neji!" Her yell alerted the females of her presence and leapt to withhold her from running to Neji's side. Hinata thrashed against them, doing everything she could for them to release her, until Tsunade gently pressed her pressure point and she fell unconscious.

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When she awoke, Hinata was properly told of Neji's condition: he was attacked on his return trip home by three S-class criminals, all of whom were defeated, but not without a price. A fractured rib had pierced his right lung, draining blood into the injured organ. Most of his chakra was drained, leaving him unable to recover quickly and harmlessly. Disregarding his many external bruises and wounds, the most deadly damage was inflicted to his heart, which had given out for a few minutes.

Tsunade had suggested placing him in a small coma so that he could heal without interruption. Hinata opposed the idea stubbornly until the logical portion of her brain returned: Neji would recover much faster asleep than if he was conscious and tried to escape.

She hesitantly agreed.

So, ever since he was put under, Hinata had stayed next to his bedside, whispering comforting words and telling him of daily happenings.

And she always brought a single flower to mark the passage of time. The flower remained the same: a delicate, fragile, beautiful white iris. Neji's favorite.

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On the seventeenth day since Neji was admitted to the hospital, Hinata walked to her cousin's room, as routine, and peered inside the small window to make sure that he was there. But instead of seeing her comatose nii-san, she noticed a change in his form: his eyes were twitching. Slowly, breathlessly, Neji opened his luminescent eyes and looked around. He relieved himself of the oxygen mask and shakily pushed himself upright. Hinata was about to run to his side when she saw him notice the light lavender vase filled with the white irises.

He tenderly plucked one from the group and brought it closer.

Hinata saw within his eyes a gentle and loving look she had not seen in him since their childhood days.

`He likes them.`

Wiping at the tears that had suddenly emerged, Hinata backed away from the door and ran.

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Hinata wasn't positive if he had known she was there, but she was convinced that Sakura had told Neji about his daily visitor. He never brought it up, but Neji was undoubtedly kinder to her, if that was possible.

As they grew older, Neji had decided that he would try to become nicer to Hinata after all the years of hatred. Now, at eighteen, Neji had become the brother-like figure to his cousin.

Hinata sighed, and just as she was about to give up hope that her nii-san would return that day, she spotted a lone person walking through the gates. She recognized the unforgettably confident stride and ran to greet her cousin.

Neji was exhausted; his body yearned for a shower and a long nap. His feet were resilient: he practically had to drag himself to the house when a warm body collided with his.

Surprisingly, the touch wasn't painful. The smell of irises drifted to him as he wrapped his arms around a familiar figure.

"Okaeri," she whispered.

"Tadaima," he murmured back.

Hinata subtly nuzzled closer to Neji's chest when she realized their position. She shot backward. "I-I'm sorry. That w-was rude o-of m-me. H-how was your m-mission?"

Neji inwardly frowned as he saw her retreat away from him and the wind blew against his still open arms. "Fine. It was a success."

She nodded. Her gaze drifted to a crimson area on his chest. She gasped. "W-what happened?!" She reached out to caress the wound as her perfectly shaped eyebrows drew in together.

Neji watched as she fussed over his minor cut. "It's nothing serious. I just need to wrap it and it'll be fine." She inched back slowly; looking as if to say something, but decided against it.

'She still has no confidence.' He studied her with a steady eye. He softly whispered, "What would you do if I wasn't around?"

She uncontrollably flinched, an act that didn't go unnoticed by the elder of the two, and lowered her head. "I-I don't know. I w-wouldn't b-be able to t-trust the w-world a-again."

Neji nodded, slightly perturbed by her answer, and led his younger cousin inside.

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Late at night, Hinata was readying herself for bed. She was combing through her long, indigo hair when a tap caught her attention. She walked to her window tensely; her hand slightly outstretched toward her nightstand and kunai pouch, and opened the glass.

First she saw no one, but a rustle of leaves drew her gaze and she was staring at another figure. She opened her mouth to scream, but the ninja caught her before she could.

Frightened, she reached for her weapons. "It's alright. I'm not going to hurt you." Her muscles instantly relaxed at the polite and gentle voice. The ninja saw that she wasn't going to make any loud noise and released her. Hinata took a step back to better see who the person was; the figure had bandages covering his eyes, yet she somehow knew that they could still see her, and a scarf was wrapped around their mouth. It was too dark for her to see any of their physical body features.

"May I can inside?" Their voice was muffled, but undeniably a man's. He sounded oddly familiar. Hinata was so lost in her own thoughts that she barely noticed that she had allowed him to enter.

The metal headband tied around the ninja's arm glinted in the moonlight. It had the symbol of the Leaf village. Hinata calmed. "W-what is i-it y-you wanted?" He leaned against her wall. "I wanted to talk."

"About?"

"About anything."

Hinata at first didn't say anything, but after standing in his easy presence, she caved. Only telling the minor details, like her favorite color and bird, she eased into a flowing conversation with the stranger. And, unexplainably, she had fun.

Though they exchanged a lot of thoughts, the only information that she had gotten out of him was that he was in his upper teens. Like her.

After talking for what seemed like hours, the mystery ninja held up a hand. "It's time for me to go." Walking to the still open window, he readied himself for a quick leap into the trees.

"W-wait!" Hinata had an urge to keep him close. "W-will I ever s-see y-you again?" Even though his mouth was covered, she knew that he was smiling. "Only if you want me to."

Hinata blushed. He was preparing to leave again when a question overcame her. "W-who are you?"

The young ninja turned to face her and chuckled. "I am your guardian." He jumped backward into the night and disappeared.

Hinata, disappointed in the answer, locked the window. She glanced outside again and could hardly believe that she had talked to, no, had a full conversation with, a man she didn't know. `Was I in a genjutsu?`

But as she walked back to her bed, she saw an out of place flower lying atop her pillow.

A single white iris.