A\N: Dedicated to my lovely friend Rita (Heartrita on YT, cheack her out, amazing!) I've been meaning to update, and it was her that made me. I hope its good enough Rita-chan! Also, please pardon spelling & grammar errors. It's summer vacation, I'm a teenager, sue me.
"In the heartfelt mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will visit us, to shine on those sitting in darkness, in the shadow of death, to guide our feet to the way of peace."
Biting the side of her cheek apprehensively, Hinata couldn't help the sense of anxiety that inundated her entire body. She let out a sigh of false relief, while looking up at the purple tinted sky.
Even though she genuinely found solace in silence, this quiet left an extreme strain that flooded down on her, causing every part of her body to tense in trepidation. It wasn't like the contented serenity she felt when sitting with Neji-nii, surveying the gardens with the fresh flowers she planted every spring while drinking jasmine tea, or the understanding hush that always seemed to accompany her and Shino whenever they were together. Despite the birds flying in the sky, stridently singing their songs or the sporadic traveler that kept the forest lively, the tension that rested in the air, made the atmosphere uncomfortable, almost crude.
But maybe it was just in her head.
The sensation that someone was fixedly watching her left her with an unusually perturbed feeling. It was almost as if the person wanted bad things to happen to her. She quickly shook her head of such absurd thoughts. Once again, it was just in her head.
The person she thought was looking at her was a good ten feet in front of her, his taciturn back facing her, ebony locks swaying in the wind while he effortlessly jumped from tree to tree.
She couldn't help but speculate on why Sasuke seemed to dislike her so much.
Had she perpetrated some crime or affronted him in some way she wasn't aware of? Ever since they left the Hokage tower to this very moment, he hadn't uttered a single word to her or made an effort to even look at her.
He'd address Neji when he had come to see her off, but as alpha males it seemed almost impossible not to have some sort of brawl, even though only a few hostile words were spoken between the two. However, even then he did not seem to notice her presence, even though Neji's warnings were about her safety.
It's not like she expected him to be genial and cordial with her, since he obviously wasn't that type of person, but she thought she merited the right to be acknowledged. Not that she wanted to be noticed by everyone all the time, but she spent so much time trying to be seen, to be heard.
This complete privation of notice made her feel as if she were impalpable, as if she didn't even exist. As if she was twelve again.
Even though she grew up being overlooked by people, it was always kind of an accident kind of reply to her; she always dulled to the back. It was somewhat understandable. She never really had any inimitable ability that warranted any interest or a prominent charismatic personality that made people notice her. The only thing was she was that merited some discernment was the label of heiress to the Hyuga clan, but even that had been taken away from her before she had an option to even fight. Even though it did hurt, it was expected, she always wilted into the shadows and watched over, whether she wanted to or not. She had grown used to it. Being in the shadows that is.
But this, this hurt. It was as if she didn't matter, her existence wasn't even real. It pained her even more because it seemed to be deliberate.
Maybe she was over thinking the whole thing. He didn't owe her anything. They weren't friends or anything, right? So why should it matter if he noticed her or not?
Before she could process another thought, the next thing she knew she was falling. She'd miscalculated a branch, and it snapped under her weight. Knowing she wouldn't have time to revert her chakra to attach onto a nearby branch, she closed her eyes firmly, waiting for the harsh impact. The only thought going through her mind was how thankful she was that they were in the forest, the grass would definitely reduce her crash.
Somehow, the fall never came, or she was higher in the trees than she thought.
She opened her eyes at the sound of a disgruntled sigh. Her body was entangled in arms, and she felt light heat radiating from the side of her. She looked up into a pair of dark, brooding, and intensely annoyed eyes. Her own eyes widened when she realized she was looking up at Sasuke, and he was holding her bridal style, not only that but they were so close, not even a sheet of paper could fit between them. She swore she could hear the soft rhythmic beating of his heart, and than couldn't help but wonder if he could hear the thunderous noise her's was making.
" - staring."
She blinked, realizing Sasuke had been talking and she hadn't even heard him. When the gravity of the situation sunk in, it was as if her entire face engulfed in flames, and she almost flew out of Sasuke's arms. Wait. She had been in Sasuke's arms!
"I – I – I am s-s-so sorry Uchiha – s – san. P-Please f-forgive m – me! I – I didn't – I didn't -"
"You're clumsy." Was all he said to her, while resisting the urge to roll his eyes at her vehement bowing.
"I – I..."
"We have three hours till the train leaves at the boarder of the land of tea, and we have at least four hours to go. I don't have time for this." He cut her off smoothly.
She looked down nodding in understanding. "I k-know, I am so, so sorry Uchiha-s-san. I wasn't paying attention, I just..."
"I don't care, just stop wasting my time."
"We're going to need to pick up the pace, and sprint for the next hour and a half. Make sure you keep up. I'm not waiting for you." He didn't bother looking at her as he flashed in to the trees.
"Are you two the shinobi from Konohagakure we requested?" Sasuke handed the shorter, older - looking man the folder Tsunade gave them. The balding man took the folder from the quiet boy, and swiftly checked the files than nodded his head. "I'm Sato Hajime, I'm here to escort you two to the Land of Snow."
"Nice to meet you, Hajime-san. I am Hyuga Hinata, and this is Uchiha Sasuke." Hinata bowed, and than smiled at the homely – looking man. "Please take good care of us."
The man grinned at the docile girl's nature. "No need to be so polite and formal, girl. You can call me Sato. And don't worry we will."
"Ah, hai. Sato-san." She nodded curtly, with a pleasant smile. "Ano...'We'?"
"Yes, there are actually two more guys, Daichi and Ren that came with me, but they went in the town. You guys are actually pretty early, the train doesn't come for another twenty or so minutes. You Konoha ninja work fast." He told her.
"Ah! No, we aren't but, um, thank you!" She blushed, waving her hand in front of her face timidly.
The man simply shook his head. "Hey does your friend talk?" He gestured his chin to Sasuke who hadn't said a word since the arrival.
"Um, he's just a bit...quiet." She commented, unsure of what to say.
"Is he your boyfriend?" Sato asked, quirking his eyebrow in query.
If she were eating or drinking, most likely she would have choked. "W-What?!" Her entire face lit up in a tomato colored frenzy.
Sasuke rolled his eyes at the girl's response. Was it possible that someone that shy, could be so dramatic? He adjusted his backpack, and continued to look away, not bothering to pay attention or care.
"Judging by that reaction, I'm assuming it's a no." The man smirked teasingly, and leaned in to whisper to her. "Between you and me, you are way too good for him, anyway."
He had to physically resist the urge to snap his head to look at the duo, or maganekyou sharigan the man in to oblivion. She was too good for him? The girl was the epitome of pathetic, clumsy, and dull as it got. But why did this bother him? It shouldn't. No way in hell did it bother him, in-fact. But that thought didn't stop the throbbing vein that appeared on his temple.
Hinata pushed away, her face absolutely flustered, while frantically waving her hands in endeavor to clear the misguided observation. "N-No! He's a very strong p-person, and helpful. And,"
"No, need to make up excuses for him," Sato laughed.
"When are your friends coming? It's almost been twenty minutes, and I don't see the train."
"Ah, so he speaks," The short man looked back at Sasuke, grinning. "Actually, they are coming right now, and don't worry the train is very punctual. One of the best stations in the land, really."
When the two other escorts arrived, they were as equally as irritating as the old man. Daichi was a blond haired pretty boy who seemed to make it his mission to flirt with Hinata every chance he got, as well as touch her every five damn seconds. He wasn't exaggerating. Ren was no better, he was a dark haired, muscular guy, who was probably the same age as Kakashi, and more than likely held an addiction, but instead of shoddily written erotica it was alcohol, undoubtedly evident by his toxic breath, and bear bottle that never seemed to leave his hand.
The train couldn't come any sooner, but the ride wasn't any better. It was tight seating, and smelled heavily of coal. The seats were too leathery, making far more noise than necessary at the slightest of movement. It was going to take almost six hours to get to Snow Country.
He recalled the one time he, Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi had a C – rank mission over there that quickly escalated into an S – rank (for some reason Konoha could never properly label it's mission ranks), with a movie star who was essentially a princess, and the 'evil' guy who sought the thrown. It was more or less like out of a really awful fairy tail.
Daichi had taken the seat next to Hinata; he was still fixed like bothersome glue to the girl, who was unbelievably red from the amount of attention. He wanted to relish in how uncomfortable she was, but the large, sake smelling guy couldn't keep his damn mouth shut.
"Don't tell me you have motion – sickness pretty boy. You don't have trains where you're from?" Ren shoved him flippantly, which he assumed was meant to be good-natured but only aggravated him further.
"Ah, they're from Konoha, they use their legs everywhere. All that fancy ninjustu shit, amiright?" Sato answered for him.
"You won't have to ever walk anywhere again, hime." The blonde had Hinata's hands in his, and leaned in, his lips hovering over her own. "If you'll let me, I'll take care of you."
"A-Ano, It's...I'm…," It was annoying how the girl couldn't just push him away, and tell him she wasn't interested, because she clearly wasn't. Or that his approach or 'flirting' was making her uncomfortable. He knew if it was Sakura, he would have had a fissure in his head by now. Was she seriously taking this idiot's feelings into account? What was up with this girl?
"Hyuga. Come. We need to talk," Sasuke stood up from the leather seat, grabbing the girl by her wrists a bit sharply than he intended to, but his irritation didn't have time to think about being lenient.
He stopped at the minute stall section of the train that divided each segment of the train, and swiftly closed the door. The space was much smaller than he thought it'd be.
"Uchiha-san, is something w-wrong?" Hinata asked a bit flustered at the offhanded action. She speculated if he caught sight of something significant that she'd fail to notice, which was not likely since she had activated her byakugan every thirty minutes and hadn't sensed any imminent chakra. But than again, anything was feasible.
"Oh...," That warranted a look of slight perplexity for the taller male.
"Ano, Uchiha-san, my...wrist."The smaller girl indicated, grimacing a bit given that he had not released his vice grip since he'd grabbed her. He let go of her as if nothing happened, while she just blushed and mechanically rubbed the tender part.
"Why don't you tell him to back off?" He simply questioned. His voice didn't have a hint of curiosity; it was almost more of statement than anything.
"N-Nani? W-Who?" She asked, caught a bit off guard by his bluntness.
"The blond, he keeps touching you and you don't like it. Why don't you tell him that? Unless I'm wrong, and you do like it." He didn't realize how close he was to her, till she looked up a bit shocked, her pallid eyes wide.
Standing this close to her, he came to realize that no her eyes weren't snow white like the rest of her family like he formerly thought, they held a trace of purple, no faint lavender. With her extremely thick, and dark lashes, and already huge owlish eyes, contrasting with her ivory skin it was disturbing how innocent and child-like she looked. Her nose was dainty, and had the faintest upturn. Her face – structure spoke of her regal heritage, but the curves and cheeks were softly arced dismissing her of the hardness people of such power held.
Dear he say it, but she was attractive. Not in the obvious way like Ino or even Sakura, but in this subtle, deeper way.
"E- Eh?! No...I..," A dark blush grazed her cheek, quickly looking down at her feet, as the weight of the question he just asked sunk in.
"Is it because he looks like Naruto?"
Hinata quickly looked up from her feet; it was almost as if her heart stopped. It was as if the whole world stopped in those seconds.
"That's none of your business."
"I am so glad you two could make it. I've been trying to get skilled watchmen for this project for so long. It's too imperative to leave it to just samurai to watch over, you know? Oh, how rude of me, how was the train ride? Not to uncomfortable I hope." A short, homely man with graying hair smiled genially at the two ninja in front of him. "I hope you enjoy your stay in snow country. I know it's completely the opposite of what you're used to, but it is a beautiful country, it really is. Not much of a shinobi filled place, but it has its upsides."
That merited a nod from the small konoichi. "We don't really get snow in Konoha, so it's really refreshing and everything is gorgeous." She bowed gracefully. "Thank you for allowing us to come here, Yasuda-sama."
"Oh, no that is so formal." He dismissed off her formality with a posh bashfulness of his hand. "Yes, the leader of this country is my brother, but I'm nowhere near as important to be given such formality." He smiled at the girl. "I'm sure you two must be tired,"
"No, it's fine." She told him, nodding her head a bit indicating her vigilance to get to work as soon as possible.
"Nonsense," He voiced in answer to her. "It's late anyway, even if we were to discuss anything right now, it wouldn't stick as much as I'd like it to." He commented lazily going through the file they'd given him, and than looking back up. "I'm not implying you're incompetent, but I do prefer my workers to be of their fullest caliber." Hinata nodded in understanding. "I'll call Sato to come escort you."
The petite girl bowed, smiling in appreciation. "Thank you very much, Yasuda-sama."
Sato couldn't help but shift awkwardly at the tension that filled the air; it was so thick, it was almost tangible. Every time he looked back, the gentle girl's eyes were cast down at her feet as if in deep thought. When she saw him looking at her she would offer a not so bright smile, almost as if it was painful to do something she always did so naturally.
The boy on the other hand wasn't necessarily a cheerful trooper to start with, but he was typically emotionless, detached, with a bit of annoyance etched concretely on his reticent face, but now he was outright scowling almost seething.
It was a bit unsettling honestly. He wasn't sure what to do with two moody ninja, or what they might do.
Hinata was three feet behind Sasuke, whom was taking long strides as if he got any closer to the girl he might burn.
This was how it was ever since they had their little personal talk on the train. They both got out looking like hell, even more peculiar, was when he had saw Hinata, who came out first, with a look so cold, he didn't think was even possible for such a timid girl like her. It was almost scary. But it went away as soon as Sasuke came out himself, even though she never turned around. The train ride remained a bit more lackluster after that.
"This is it. We honestly thought the ninja were going to be two males, so we only set up a single room, but it's pretty decent – sized. It shouldn't be much of a problem, I'm sure you two can manage. Yeah?"
The dark – eyed male entered the room without so much of a word, in fact he was shoved a bit against the door frame.
Sato glared at the dark - haired males back. "What's his problem?"
"I'm really sorry, Sato-san," The pale – eyed girl, bowed to him. "Thank you for everything." She smiled, but once again even though it wasn't fake per se, it was painfully strained.
He nodded at her. "No problem, it's my job."
"Thank you very much, anyway." She entered the room, and with one more courteous nod, she softly closed the door.
Sato shook his head, and laughed a bit to himself.
He'd have to break the news to Daichi.
There was no way in hell those two weren't dating.
Before she could say anything, Hinata noticed that Sasuke had already taken the single bedroom and shut the door not necessarily loud, but forcefully.
She let out a dismal sigh, guilt throbbing at the pit of her stomach. She hadn't meant to be so uncouth. That wasn't like her. But for that moment, she just felt so… angry. What gave him the right? He didn't know anything about her. She wasn't like that...She wasn't...
Or maybe he was in fact, right. Maybe that's what got her so incensed, the in verity what he said may well be correct, deep down. And, perhaps not as deep as she would have liked it.
She hadn't really thought of Naruto in such a long time, well talked to him, she thought of him more than she'd like to divulge. It was almost as if he had been eluding her. At least that's what she thought; his smile barely reached his eyes when talking to her. And he'd been so…awkward around her, though it'd be challenging to tell without observant eyes.
He just never treated her like everyone else anymore; he was meticulous around her and tip-toed with his choice of words. He treated her as if she would break into a million pieces at any moment. She'd like to think she was content with his distance, that everything would be okay in the long run.
Maybe on some level she did desire that interest, that attention. She wasn't really one whom guys paid much mind to.
Honestly, she didn't know. But she never really let go of her emotions so easily like that before, or feel like that. She was human, she did get sad, happy, angry, and more. But she always tried to never let it hurt others. He didn't warrant such coldness from her. And now he was mad. She'd notice he was either completely ignore her, or was angry at her. And she realized it was constantly her fault.
Was she that bad of a person?
She remembered her fight with Neji in the earliest chunin exams. During almost the end of the match, she told Neji how trapped he was, how he was the one who was truly suffering, and he was mad and afraid because he believed couldn't do anything about it. She'd intended those words to hurt him; she wished for him to feel the hurt she'd felt from his own words before.
And she regretted that.
He had already been suffering so much; she should have extended a hand to him. Try harder to fix the schism between them no matter what. But in that moment, she honestly longed for him to feel the pain she felt.
She really was a bad person.
She took off her jacket, and folded it neatly placing it onto a chair. She made her way to the kitchen wondering if there was anything in the cupboards. To her placid contentment, there was a box of jasmine tea right along with a few other snacks.
She took the tea and placed it on the counter and went to the fridge, which was actually quite full. But it was late, she wasn't at all hungry. The jasmine tea would do fine to ease her unsettled thoughts.
He wasn't too sure when he fell asleep last night. All he could evoke was red and than black. Could he have just passed out? It took him a good three seconds to recollect everything from yesterday.
Snow Country. Mission. Train. Hyuga.
Truthfully, he didn't know why he was so agitated about the immaterial exchange on the train. The Hyuga was right, he admitted, to some extent it was none of his business, he didn't really care about her perverse infatuations with whomever.
But why was he always in such annoying circumstances with this girl. He was giving her far too much attention for his liking. He never had to do this much work when it came to girls, and he's done far more in regards to her than he's done for his fangirls combined, and frankly that unnerved him a bit.
It didn't matter anyway, and he didn't want to dwell on it more than necessary.
He threw the thick covers from his body, and placed his feet on the cool wooden floor. He looked over at the small charming bureau which held a lamp. Before dismissing it, he noticed a tray containing a cup of tea, warm water, salmon, eggs, potatoes, and small tomatoes. Breakfast. He eyed the plates, unsure of what exactly to do next. He knew it was the Hyuga who did this; there weren't really any maids or servants in this place. But why?
And when? It was six o' clock. Did the girl even sleep?
He wasn't completely sure what to do with it. She could've poisoned it for all he knew. Okay, maybe that was a bit overboard. But frankly, he just didn't understand this girl's actions. Did she have some ulterior objective to her 'thoughtfulness', all girls did in the long run. Maybe he should just leave it there to spite her.
It's not like she was an awful cook or anything, in fact she was pretty capable.
But he knows he hasn't been the paramount example of the best person in the world, a lot of people would have just left him alone, or even hated him, like her entire village did.
He decided that it was better to not waste food, especially when his stomach started speaking in tongues. And he was glad she'd listen about the tomatoes. Just a bit, though.
He placed the empty tray back down on top of the bureau; she was the one who put there, anyway.
A small piece of paper fell from the bottom of the tray, he picked it up.
They had tomatoes. I hope you like it, Uchiha-san. I'm sorry.
The Snow Country had been one of the only, if not the only, nation that had been truly unaffected by the Shinobi World War. Of course it had sustained some damage, because of refugees and rogue ninjas but on a greater scale, it had remained relatively unscathed.
This was more than likely do from its lack of registered ninja, and its focus on the arts, it was known for its theatre and movies. It'd remained a chiefly overlooked place in the great tribulation just three years ago.
However, just like it had been disregarded by the outside forces, most of the population had remained readily ignorant of the troubles of the remote situation. They had not even questioned the Isolation Act that had been enacted for ten years, even though now, after the War, it was mostly ignored.
This absolute separation and detachment in the world's affair was the primary intention for this mission. With so little adherence from the main villages, it was simple for war criminals who ran away from trial to hide in, or innovative and ambitious 'villains' to plan and start to wreak havoc. It wasn't an obvious place like Amegakure which was crawling with shady people; this place was ideal with its tranquil nature to hide out in. Not to mention its severe lack in an actual military force. The samurai were not exactly equipped to handle capable shinobi.
Unlike what Izanagi Yasuda, the distinguished brother of the current Kage of this country believed, they weren't sent to be bodyguards of the construction or reconstruction of the tower that held some secret and valuable items of some sort, because they belonged to every previous leader and their respective clan and family before them. Obviously an important recreation project like this would warrant unwanted attention from delinquents and others alike. So protection of a high caliber was almost demanded. Even though a great deal of samurai was standing guard, Izanagi wanted back – up, just incase of an adversary his men could not handle.
However, Tsunade had only agreed because it provided an opportunity to scrutinize the country for any concealment of wanted criminals or new ones, or something that warranted an investigation.
Naturally, she had already sent investigation teams all around the place for the past couple months and they hadn't found anything that posed any big threat except for the few bandits and such, it was relatively calm. But Tsunade knew it was far more beneficial to be too careful than too careless.
Sasuke had to give it the old broad, it was a completely viable speculation, if he were still a missing – nin this would be the place to settle down or at least plan something.
With his sharigan which could detect any sign of malice ninjustu or genjustu, and than pairing him with the Byakugan which made up for his lack of distance and detail (and due to the annoying seal they so benevolently placed on him) was actually pretty clever. On paper that is. The girl was barely competent (once again he wasn't a damn baby-sitter) and than there was the fact he wasn't sure if cared enough to actually take the job seriously. In all honesty, he just wanted to get out of that intolerable village.
He had planted himself in a large dead tree, which was coated in snow. Deciding it was better to analyze his surroundings from here than having to correspond with the workers below or the Hyuga.
Even though he decided she wasn't someone who should receive so much attention from him, she was a mouse, weak and diminutive; she should barely even be on his radar or even close to it. That didn't seem to be the case. They hadn't even talked once, nor had she even turned to look at him or acknowledge his presence yet he was painfully aware of her's. It left him unnerved.
At this moment, she was idly chatting with Ren who was heartily laughing at something, and Sasuke wondered what could possibly be so funny? It wasn't as if the Hyuga spontaneously became an overnight comedian.
From here, he could see the girl's face turn bright red. The blond that had taken to flirting with her, had stopped, in fact, he was sulking behind the bigger man, though that did not stop him from sparing her woeful stares like some idiot.
Sato came up to the trio and gave Hinata an affable pat on the back, who returned it with a cordial bow. Sato told the two other men something, and they hurriedly left. He turned his direction back to Hinata, and they began conversing companionably, or more he was doing the talking and she was nodding her head like some puppy.
Wasn't this a mission?
She wasn't supposed to be all chummy with her employers, she was a shinobi. Staid, distant was what they were designed to be like. Not trusting and empathetic. Not being convivial with people she would never see again after the three days were over. That's what got you killed. Naruto had that same annoying habit.
Midway into his thoughts, his whole body stiffened when he noticed the considerable change in the atmosphere. It was odd; the wind seemed to stop all on its own. A light reflecting from the sun caught his attention, it was moving quite speedily. And he noticed it was heading in the direction of the Hyuga and Sato. He knew no matter how fast he was the thing was just half a second before him if he attempted to reach the two. He was too far.
Surprisingly, the Hyuga was able to deflect it with a single wave of her palm when she had pulled Sato aside. He'd never seen that move before. The thing ricocheted from her attack and stuck onto a big and flat piece of wood two men had been holding, which they dropped in fear.
She ran up to the weapon, and detached it from the wood quickly and was examining it with her already activated Byakugan. She turned her concentration towards the direction it had come from. And she ran towards it.
Of course he was much faster than her, and was able to catch up in less the five seconds, but where they were going he didn't know. The malice feeling that had drenched the air had subsided, but that didn't mean they had less problems.
He felt the vein in his temple throb in annoyance.
A fucking avalanche was less than two miles away, and it had already covered five miles down the mountain in less than two minutes.
It wasn't the avalanche per se that was the predicament; it was the fact that it was ready to flatten the workers into non-existence. He didn't really give a damn about the workers truth be told, but the Hyuga wasn't budging and she was deep in thought very aware of the problem ahead. They both could easily escape the in coming snow, but the dependent civilians couldn't. And annoyingly enough, she cared.
Sasuke let out an inner sigh. It'd be much more trouble than worth if he let all of those people die, and Tsunade wouldn't exactly trust him if she knew why a hundred civilians died on this one reconnaissance mission, and he had already done too much for this one incident to expunge all his hard work, but than again…
He let out another sigh.
"Hyuga, back up." He used one hand to push back the smaller girl who looked up at him in surprise, and the other to form a couple of seals and placed his hands up to his mouth and waited. The avalanche had been a second before wiping them out and he blew. "Okii no katon no justu!" In a single breath, a monster ball of fire flew out towards the hurdling snow, almost instantly melting the troubling snow.
When it seemed like it was enough fire, he subsided. He held onto his head, it was throbbing; his vision was a bit blurry. He'd use way too much chakra than he'd like to admit in that one move. The seals they placed on him didn't allow him access to his entire reserves, but he didn't realize they had restrained them this damn much. He'd need to have a word with that damn Hokage.
He felt the Hyuga push his hands from her shoulder, and grabbed it into her own looking up into his eyes worry etched into her face. "Uchiha-san! Are you alright?" It was as if she could sense his fatigue, his weakness. She was probably relishing in his moment of frailty, especially since he'd always made a point of telling her how weak she was.
"I'm fine," He unlatched his hands from her surprisingly warm ones, and didn't bother to look at her.
"Are you sure?" She enquired, as he started to walk away.
There was a low rumbling on the ground, and he caught sight of the part of the avalanche he'd miss; it had actually become one giant snow ball. Fuck. Was he really this weak now?
Before he knew it, Hinata had chased it; it was heading towards a couple of workers who had dumbly fallowed them. She quickly passed it, stopped, and "Rotation!" Chakra emitted from her body, and when the ball came into contact with it, the snowball dissipated, chunks of ice flew everywhere.
Hinata stopped, and let out a breath of relief. That was a close one, she wasn't entirely sure if she could have executed that move in this foreign ground.
The three men that had been so close to getting injured vehemently thanked her for saving their lives, and she shook her head. "N-No, it was Uchiha-san who stopped the avalanche. But please next time be careful. Please tell everyone that we should finish off for the rest of the day." They nodded, and clumsily ran to the construction site.
Surveying the grounds once more with her dojustu, Hinata promptly stopped when she discerned the collection of chakra that was fallowing Sasuke further down. And he didn't appear to notice. Her eyes widened in worry. She knew he could take care of himself, but that huge jutsu took a lot out of him, she couldn't just…
She sprinted towards their direction, with the help of chakra infused feet, she was in front of the attacker that held up a kunai, however, it wasn't a standard weapon it was translucent just like the thick senbon from before, and she also presumed it to be coated in clear poison too.
Unfortunately, she'd miscalculate the person's speed; he was much faster than she had anticipated, it was almost inhumane, when he sped instantly with no warning. The 'person's' face contorted into a sick grin, his sharp knife – like teeth visible, his lips were ailing purple, and his skin was as white as the snow, but the upper half of his face was shrouded with his white hood.
"Die!" His voice was shrill, sickeningly so.
He was only able to slash an insignificant cut into her arm; something had pulled her back quicker than she could have had moved on her own.
Sasuke was in front of her faster than she could blink, his katana unsheathed as he sliced the man in half.
But the parts vanished.
It was only a shadow clone.
"You freaking idiot." Sasuke didn't have time to say much else, when he went face first into the snow.
"Are you okay, Uchiha-san?" He had only collapsed from a case of severe fatigue because of his low chakra, but he had gotten up a few minutes later, and had instantly detached himself from the Hyuga who had been carrying him. His pride had been hurt enough. But then she had fainted, and he had to carry her back. They had been at the infirmary a few moments ago, but he hated the smell of hospitals and the annoying nurses who wouldn't leave him alone. He'd make sure to discharge as soon as possible.
He crossed his arms around his chest, and glared down at the petite girl who was sitting on the mat. "Shouldn't you be more worried for yourself? You were poisoned."
The girl blushed, and looked down at her wrapped arm. "N-No! It was only a skin-deep cut, so it didn't really get that f-far..." She examined it. She'd been right, the weapon did have poison. Though thankfully, since it'd barely scratched the surface of her muscle and it was cold, the poison had not spread far at all.
"Whatever." He placed himself on the couch, and let out a sigh. Nothing seemed to add up, however. Though he had sensed the man behind him, he wanted the man to believe he had the upper hand, but when Hinata had jumped in-between them his plan had been bust and the stupid girl had bitten off more than he could chew. But weirdly enough it had only been a shadow clone, one he himself couldn't even discern.
The man's kage bunshin was actually far more solid than Naruto's, though he doubted the man had enough chakra or stamina to create as much as the blonde could. Also, why Hinata? It's not like the girl actually looked precarious in anyway.
"A-Ano...Uchiha-san, I'm sorry for getting in your way. I just…," Even though the injury she sustained was minor, she couldn't help but feel a bit incompetent. She couldn't even fully protect him like she should have been able to. She was just promoted jounin for christ's sake!
"It's fine." He actual meant it, too. In all honesty, he was actually surprised by her initiative and how quickly she was able to deflect the attacks. Even though he had to save her in the end, she hadn't been entirely useless. His plan had been faulty from the start anyway.
His opinion on her missing the impulse to kill didn't change, but she did have something separate; it was the determination to defend, or what he liked to call it 'blindly running into a fight for no reason'. Naruto had the related tendency; he'd always put everyone before him, and go head first into defending people he didn't even know. So she wasn't entirely pitiable as a konoichi.
Though, it was just as much as a flaw as it was for making her laudable to wear her hi-ate.
It made you careless.
It got you killed.
"I'm also sorry f-for, before this...I didn't mean to stand you up with training…I had g-gotten sick and…," She fidgeted with the hem of her pants. "I'm really sorry, Uchiha-san. I tried, but..."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow, he'd almost forgotten about that. Almost. But now it made sense, it's not like she had the impudence to just skip out on him (but than again he thought she was just a coward). But wait…
"Why didn't you just make one of your servants come tell me?" He enquired.
She quickly looked up at him. "I-I did! I told Neji-niisan…I...he must've forgotten… Gomennasai."
Forgotten his ass. The damned Hyuga probably did it on purpose. He was definitely on his to-demolish-first-if-he-ever-decides-to-go-crazy again list. Alongside, the moron of a Hokage and the council.
"Uchiha-san...would you like some tea?" Hinata questioned, looking at the direction of the kitchen. "T-They have some jasmine tea, and…,"
"Don't you think it's a bit late for that?"
She looked back at him; her eyes broadened a bit, and looked down timidly. "Ano...it calms me down, and helps me sleep at night."
"All the caffeine doesn't affect you?" She shook her head. "You're weird."
She blushed, "I'm sorry…"
"And why do you always apologize?" He asked, a bit of irritation laced in his voice. "It's annoying." He ran a hand through his unruly hair.
"I'm sorry." She let out before she could stop herself. He shot her a glare, and than sighed.
"I...I think it's just a habit." She tried to explain.
"It's a weak one." He shot.
"Ah…," The corners of her lips upturned, almost knowingly, into a small smile. "But...it's me. Don't you have something like that, Uchiha-san? "
"No." Was she implying that he was weak?
"I d-didn't mean it like something that makes you w-weak…but a quirk...ano, that's not the right word…," She thoughtfully looked at nothing.
They sat in silence. She had begun to amuse herself with the hem of her pants, again... "I like the rain." She suddenly said. "It washes things away, and makes everything new again." He couldn't help but comment internally on how satirical that was. "Even sins." He stared at her, was this girl kidding? But he decided he'd play.
"All of them?" He questioned.
And she nodded, a slight smile fixed onto her calm face, almost as if she were dreaming while awake. "Yes."
She didn't miss a beat. "Yes."
His eyes widened, but just as quickly they returned to normal. This girl was an idiot, a dim-witted, naive idiot. He abhorred that gaze in her eyes; the hopeful, and 'anything is possible' look. That naivety was going to get her killed, if he didn't do it himself just to show her how immature and puerile she was. Nothing was ever that simple. Nothing. If you wanted something you'd have to give something back. If you sought freedom, you gave up your life. If you w coveted power, strength, you gave up your soul. It was just how this world functioned.
He'd witnessed events she'd never even have in a delusion, the sinister and ugly side of humanity. He's done things that she could never even begin to envision. His sins, his life were not something that unadorned wishing or hell, rain, could just 'wash away'. Foolish, stupid girl.
"Oh, really? Pray tell, how the rain of all things could make them just go away." He wasn't sure if he was angry or not, maybe he was just interested for her answer.
"I think, as long as we help it, it's possible. As long as we don't give up. As long as we just try." She said with such earnestness, with so much belief and buoyancy that he just wanted to laugh in her face. And for some reason, he thinks she knew that.
"I'm tired." He stated ascetically, dismissing the entire conversation.
"A-Ah," She smiled at him, understandingly. "Yes, eto...,"
He despised those annoying eyes of her's; it was as if she was seeing right through him. They were too damn big.
"The couch….um, it's where I-"
"Sleep in the room, I'll take the couch."
She looked at him a bit taken aback but shook her head fervently in concern and rebuff, "N-No! Uchiha-san, its okay. I don't mind the couch. Please take the bed." She told him.
"I want the couch. Sleep on the floor for all I care." In one move, Sasuke was laying down, back facing her, and covered in the large blanket. There was finality in his words, and he wasn't budging.
Hinata stood up from the mat, and eyed him for a few moments uncertain of what to do. She let out a barely perceptible sigh, and went over to the light and turned it off. Making her way to the single bedroom room, she couldn't stop but look at the direction of the couch.
Her eyes dulled softly as she looked at the bulge that was 'sleeping' on the couch. Her lips curved tenderly into a diminutive smile.
"Thank you, Uchiha-san."
A\N: First & foremost, I need to ask if anyone wants to beta-read this story? Please, I really need someone who is fast AND thorough! PM if you're interested!
And secondly… 17 pages! OMG D: I have never done this much, but I thought I owed everyone that much because this is so late, and ugh. I've been busy this summer. But I really wanted to update.
And I did! Does that count for something? I hope everyone enjoyed this. I don't know how to write well anymore, so please bare with this, okay? And omg, some sasuhina. Kinda. Well I think it was cute, right? Kidding, Sasuke ruins all my romantic moments. Jerk. :T I tried to show Hinata more humanely, instead of some perfect, angel-like girl all the time. I mean she is human. She can get angry to, especially if someone just disrespects her like that, right? I do think Hinata is very forgiving and understanding BUT I think she cracks sometimes, just like Sasuke in showing his weak side. I think in the beginning with the Neji vs. Hinata in the chunin exams she was trying to hurt him emotionally, if only just a little. It's not that it makes her a bad person, it makes her human. Caught up in her emotions. Especially since I think she bottles everything up, and sometimes it can just you know explode. It happens to the best of us. We are human. I just hope this characterization doesn't put anyone off. And that people still read this. But if you feel they are outta character please tell me!
I know some of you can probably guess that relationship with Naruto, but I won't spoil just yet. And no, this is not a sasuhinanaru, it's entirely sasuhinagaa. But Naruto is always important, or at least a stepping stone. :P But you won't have to worry about him in the long run.
But omg, guys I am about to be a freaking Senior in high school, and than I am going off to college. Yay? It's so hard picking colleges. I want to go out of state but not to far. I also want to do pharmacy. P: And my grades aren't good enough for an ivy league, but I have a fighting chance for pretty competitive schools, though either Harvard or Brown is my reach, reach schools. Lol. Oh & I got to actually go to Japan, guys. Point blank. IT WAS AMAZING. GO THERE. & not just Tokyo, if you are willing to try new things, go to the other prefectures as well. (: Beautiful place, wonderful people, and amazing ice-cream. Haha.
Um, anyway, thank you for reading! Sorry I ramble A LOT. But I don't deserve my readers. I am the worst. But if you could, it'd mean the world if you guys would review. My sore buttocks ask politely and earnestly. See you hopefully, soon!