It's taken me forever and a day to get this out, but here it is! This is it!
The last chapter of the story that has kept you so riveted!
And I'm sad to say, for the last time
Hinata stopped washing dishes, placing a hand on the hip of her espresso brown Ella Moss stylishly high-waisted slacks that Ino said showed the curve of her hips perfectly. Kaede, her eccentric five-year-old with an intelligence bigger than her mother's, was having a staring contest with the big blue glass butterfly sitting in the cero in the front hall, which was visible from the sink in the kitchen. She was squatting in her favorite light blue sundress, hugging her knees. Long, indigo hair flowed down her back and her black eyes were squinted as she tried not to blink.
After five straight minutes of intense, eye-watering staring, Hinata dropped her dishcloth into the sudsy water with a sigh. Enough was enough. Before she knew it, the toddler was going to be going through the house, staring down anything in her path. I mean, sure, she had said Sasuke glare could wilt a flower, but had the child have to take it so seriously?
"All right, Kaede," Hinata lifted her by her armpits, settling Kaede on her hip. "I think you win. Uncle Shino won't be too happy to hear that one of his gifts couldn't last under your glare."
"Ha!" the girl laughed victoriously, pointing at the "shamed" butterfly. "And Toshi said it wasn't possible!"
Hinata raised an eyebrow, setting the girl on a stool at the kitchen's island. "Toshi?" Her mind transported her back to the day Toshi, her nephew, was born. Hanabi's face had been full of pride as she held him, with his tuff of reddish-brown hair and soulful lavender-tinted eyes. He was a beautiful boy, but had quite a tongue on him.
"Yeah!" Kaede stood on her stool, palms planted on the white granite counter. "He said it wasn't possible to stare down the butterfly," she tossed a smirk and a glare over her shoulder at said inanimate object, "because it was an in-an-i-mate ob-ject."
Hinata sighed and her shoulders slumped, but didn't say a word. Unknowingly, she had fueled Kaede's wild mind yet again. Last time, the five-year-old and eight-year-old had betted that she couldn't recreate the painting in the museum, the one that just looked like someone had put down streaks of paint across a white canvas. Hinata had walked into the back room, which had become the playroom, and clapped her hands, saying how "creative" Kaede was, and how it looked "just like it."
Sasuke had laughed at her for that one.
But before she could tell Kaede that it wasn't possible to stare down an inanimate object because it didn't blink, her two other children walked in. How she knew this was because the twins were known for their loud arguments. Twins they maybe, but they were night and day. Kyouke couldn't stand when Keiko told him how to do things and being generally bossy. Keiko couldn't stand how her brother was quiet and chose to pick his arguments. This two were Ying and Yang when Ying and Yang don't mix.
Hinata had labeled this as life for the Hyuga-Uchiha household. Kyouke had gotten Hinata's quiet determination and the ability to know when things were getting out of hand and how to control said situations. Keiko had gotten her harsh tongue and amazing wit for her father. Hinata had a feeling Sasuke was quite proud of his twins, especially since Kyouke looked exactly like him when he was thirteen. If Keiko didn't open her mouth, she looked exactly like Hinata at thirteen . . . with longer hair.
There wasn't a moment in Hinata's life when someone wasn't saying something. Her peace was the time during which she could take her daily forty-five minute bubble bath in the huge garden tub with the gold claw-and-ball legs in her luxurious master suite, in the upper east wing of their huge house. In fact, it dominated the whole upper east wing of the house. With a study, a small library and the main sleeping area with huge bay windows, it was the ultimate place to relax . . . and have romantic sex. Because let's face it, at forty-three, Sasuke was still making young and old women swoon.
But unfortunately, Sasuke was stuck at the office with some kind of paper work and she was left to deal with the kids since she had gotten off early. Hiashi was all cool now that she had given birth to three, wonderful grandchildren and was sure that the Hyuga-Uchiha line would live on.
Something crashed and Hinata cringed, the stress knotting her shoulders and her lower back and just about anywhere she didn't know there was a muscle. Something crashed just about every week and she had begun to wonder if it was possible to have anything nice in this beautiful place without it breaking.
"Kyouke, you idiot!"
"Shut up, Keiko! It wasn't me!"
"Yes it was! If you hadn't shoved me-!"
"I didn't shove you, stupid! I was trying to get past you-!"
Hinata sighed, wiping her hands on a white dishtowel and turning to face her now silent twins. They were in their Konoha uniforms and Hinata still couldn't get over the fact that Sasuke had used to go there until he transferred to Sound during her second year in middle school. But now was not the time to reminisce about old times. Now was the time to dish out some discipline.
She placed her French-manicured hands on her hips, giving them the best parent stare she could muster. "I'm going to ask one person and one person at a time." She held up a finger as Keiko went to open her mouth. "Kyouke, you go first."
After a minute of Kyouke explaining what happened, she listened to Keiko. But Keiko wouldn't utter a word, her glistening lavender eyes on the high ceilings. Hinata felt the stress and tension building inside of her as the teenager kept quiet. After another two minutes, Hinata crossed her arms and tried out a glare on her.
Keiko took a deep breath and began in a pinched voice,"You'renotgoingtolistenbecauseKyoukebasicallyblamedthewholethingonme. Eventhoughittotallywasn'tmyfault. Hewastheonewhoshovedmefirstandifhehadn'tdonethat, thedumbvasewouldhavebeenalivetoday."
That's doubtful, Hinata thought, but raised an eyebrow, saying softly, "Is that all you have to say?"
"Yes. Becasuethereisn'tanyotherwaytoconvinceyou. You'lltakeKyouke'ssidebecausehe'syourfavorite."
"You're such a drama queen," Kyouke huffed, hiking his backpack high up his back.
"ShutupKyouke! ThisisallyourfaultandnowI'mgonnahavetopayforyourstupidmistakes, AGAIN!" Keiko snapped, angry tears sliding down her blotchy red cheeks.
Kaede fisted Hinata's skirt and let herself dangle back, making Hinata glad for the wide distressed leather belt that cinched her black turtleneck tucked into her slacks together. Unhooking the little girl, she settled Kaede on her hip and managed to find her stern voice. "Since you are both responsible," she shot a hard look a Keiko who clamped her glossed lips tighter, "I'm making you both pay, from your accounts, to buy me another Tiffany vase. Which costs two hundred US dollars."
"What?!" Keiko shrieked, causing Kyouke to flinch. "Ma-ma! That's, like, all I have left! You can't do that to me!"
Hinata fixed her with another parental look, shifting Kaede to her other hip. "I'm quite serious, Keiko. Unless you'd like to foot the two-thirds of the bill, I suggest you suck it up. Or we can take this to your father and you can battle it out with him."
It was a fact that Keiko had Sasuke wrapped around her delicate fist. It was also a known fact that Kyouke could argue Sasuke into a state that practically guaranteed he'd get anything he wanted as well. There were quite a few occasions where Keiko's complements had won over Kyouke's well-placed arguments. But there was a still a big of it chance happening again.
While Keiko calculated the odds of her winning and Kyouke was trying to come up with a reasonable argument, Hinata cleared her throat as officially as she could. "With me and Kaede as a witnesses."
"Fine," Keiko announced, stalking towards the stairs, her shiny black hair rippling down the back of her short-sleeve sailor suit top. "I will pay half of the vase. But only if Kyouke apologizes!"
She whipped around and glared at him. "You go first!"
He looked her right in the eye. "Sorry."
Hinata almost laughed as Keiko blinked away her surprise but managaed to suppress it. It was quite obvious Kyouke was fuming. His sorry wasn't even that meaningful. It was a shock for him to even give in that quickly. But he was through with his younger sister's pitiful, but detailed arguments and just wanted to escape to his favorite room, the big library on the lower west wing behind the staircase.
"Fine," Keiko looked him straight in the eye, like Hinata had taught them to. "I'm sorry."
"Good." Hinata shifted Kaede for the third time and noticed the five-year-old was keeping close tabs on everything that was going on. Even on the way Keiko was looking at Kyouke. "Now, you've an hour to finish your homework. After that, you need to get ready. We go to Uncle Chouji's new restaurant in Okinawa." She smiled at Keiko. "With a new vegan menu."
Keiko smiled and skipped the rest of the way up the stairs, Kyouke rolling his eyes and following after her with a dejected air. Hinata set Kaede on the air and she raced after Kyouke, who adored her, and was possibly the only other person who would agree with her that she had won a stare down with an inanimate object called a huge blue glass butterfly.
"I told you!" Kaede announced from Gaara's arms, pointing a moisturized finger in Toshi's stunned face. She leaned towards him as far as she could with Gaara's arms around her legs. "In your face, Toshi! Even Mama agrees that I could stare that dumb thing down!"
Sasuke shot Hinata a knowing look. "We've talked about this before, haven't we?"
Ino stifled a giggle as Toshi took to staying close to Hanabi's side. "Are you serious?" She looked to Hinata who was blushing crimson. "Hinata-kun? You agreed with her?"
Hinata blushed darker, self-consciously tugging on the hem of her white blouse and smoothing wrinkles from her black tube skirt. "Well . . . I . . . It's not what you think," she managaed weakly, her shoulders drooping.
"Oh, I don't know," Neji said, raising an eyebrow as their gathered group began laughing. "She looks pretty convinced that you said she had won."
They turned in time to hear Kaede shout very loudly, "She spe-cif-ically said 'I think you win. Uncle Shino won't be happy to hear that one of his gifts couldn't last under one of your glares.' I heard her say it! I was right there!"
Shino cast Hinata look, Sora giggling beside him. "What?"
Before anyone else could utter a word, Hinata clapped her hands, smiling brightly. "I think it's time we sit down! I mean, Chouji has made such a wonderful spread and we can't waste it! Come, come, let's eat!" She made a show of scooping up Kaede and tucking the toddler under her arm, smiling brighter than she should have been.
"That was delicious!" Keiko announced, rubbing the belly of her satin light-blue and orange Chinese ankle-length dress. "Uncle Chouji makes better food than you do, Mama!"
Hinata sighed from the front seat as Sasuke stifled a snort. "I guess it's a good thing that I got the recipe for you favorites, hmm?"
"You got the recipe?" Keiko leaned forward as far as she could with her seatbelt from the back of the Jaguar. "Can you teach me-?"
"I thought you said she wasn't a good cook," Kyouke pointed out in a bored voice, his eyes watching the cars as they slowed in comparison to his father's driving.
"I heard!" Kaede raised her hand, proclaiming her involvement.
"Why won't you ever help me?" Keiko whined, sitting back in her seat.
"Because she doesn't like you," Kyouke answered.
Hinata sighed as the two broke into an all out War of the Words in the back seat before saying over them, "Is there any peace to be had?"
Sasuke stopped at the red light and let his snickering evolve into a laugh. "Oh God."
"It's not funny," Hinata shot him a look, crossing her arms. "Quit laughing."
Unfortunately, the bickering continued and Sasuke kept laughing the whole thirty seconds they were sitting there. Hinata sighed, letting her eyes drift towards the starry night sky. There wasn't a moment in her life where her family wasn't bickering, laughing, crying and generally being noisy. But they were her family. And she loved them.
Besides, she could endure a little noise. There was always her bubble bath.
I have to say, I'm pleased with the way this turned out.
I mean, it could have been longer, and possibly envolve more stuff, but I think I like this one better.
So yeah, this is the end. You got you twins (You know who you are! XD)
And it's a nice, peaceful ending. I've always been a kind of cliff hanger person, leaving a person craving for more. But this is a nice finish.
I hoped you enjoyed this as much as I did. I even stayed up till 12 midnight for you!
Savoring this moment forever and a day~ CocoaAngel95 :']