Disclaimer: Not mine

Her footsteps were soft, as they always were. She's been coming here more and more these days. He was tempted to pretend to be asleep, but her voice softened him. It always did.

'N-Neiji-niisan,' her silhouetted figure on the door made his heart beat somewhat faster. She would be wearing an overlarge t-shirt and a white pair of pants, as always. Her long hair would cascade down her shoulders, over those curves, lush and beautiful. He could see her already, tears tickling down the sides of her face in a way that seem to melt his heart and break it at the same time. She let out a soft sigh, preparing to walk away.

He was at the door in a second and opening the door. He pulled her into his room and into his embrace. 'Shh…' he soothed, running a hand down her hair. He closed the door quietly with the other. If the elders ever find out about these midnight trips, he did not believe he would survive for very long. He waited for the tears to stop, like always, and tried to ignore the way she pressed her body to his. He recited the rules of the Hyuga branch family mentally.

'Gomen…' she whispered, as she always does.

'Go back to sleep, Hinata-sama,' he stared fixedly at her eyes, chillingly. He can't let her keep coming here. The extent of his self-control should not be challenged further. It has already been stretched to the limit.

Tears welled up in her eyes, she shook her head gently, 'please?'

He wished he could keep her in his room forever. Instead, he said, 'Hinata-sama, I need to leave early tomorrow for a mission. My teammates would be arriving before dawn.'

'I'll be quiet…' she was clutching the sleeves of his shirt tightly. He slapped himself mentally for mentioning his teammates. There's no way those tears would stop now. 'P-please?' she pleaded.

He sighed in resignation, leading her to his bed by her cold, shaking hand. She climbed in first, making herself as small as possible at the edge and waited for Neiji to join her. He shook his head tiredly and made himself as comfortable as possible without touching too much of her. For the time, at least.

'Arigatou, Neiji-niisan,' she whispered, holding onto his hand. He sighed dejectedly, knowing he won't be getting that hand back until morning.

'Goodnight, Hinata-sama,' he faced away from her, keeping what little self control he had intact by not looking at her face.

'A-Are y-you angry at m-me, Neiji-niisan?' she asked in that tired, sleepy voice of hers that he had grown used to.

'Ie,' he sighed.

'G-Goodnight, Neiji-niisan,' she yawned, tightening the hold on his hand.

He waited for her breath to stabilize before he allowed himself to face her. She was already asleep, her expression nothing less than serene. He ran his fingers down her cheek gently, basking in her presence.

She had grown to be nothing less than beautiful over the years. In terms of strength, on the other hand, she was still somewhat weak. But he had never seen her true potential. He knew she held back when she fought them. She always did.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, intending to calm his mind, but breathed in her scent instead. Lilacs. She smelled like Lilacs tonight. He leant in closer against his will and inhaled, unintentionally brushing his lips on her hair.

He pulled back sharply. What am I doing?

He needed sleep.

He needs to stop her from coming.

Next time, he promised himself, wrapping his free hand around her possessively. Her gentle breathing lulled him to sleep.

It always does.