Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, and be glad I don't, because if I did there wouldn't be anything left for the imagination to conjure up for all of the wonderful fics out there.

Yep, I did it. Here's another story to add to the list of what I'm working on… but I couldn't help but write about one of my favorite pairings of all time… This story shouldn't be more than a few chapters long, considering it's lacking of a general, dramatic plot, but I may surprise myself and add a few twists or turns. You never know… Enjoy!

Who is the person that you would most likely give your life for? A trick question. Any shinobi that had been taught right would answer not one single person, but any of their comrades. A long time ago, I would have answered the same way. I still would if I was asked openly, in front of anyone. But now, if a close friend asked me that question, or if I even thought about it, the first image to come to mind would not be that of my comrades, but the image of Hinata Hyuuga. I used to despise her, wished her dead. But now… now I loved her.

"Neji!" I heard Hinata's sweet voice calling me as if from a distance. "Neji, you've got to get up!" I opened my eyes to Hinata leaning over me with a stern look on her face. I blinked a few times, and then felt a sarcastic grin slide over my face.

"Fine, mother Hinata. I'm awake." She blushed and turned away, rolling her eyes and walking to the other side of my room before turning to face me again. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, still grinning. "Why exactly do I have to get up? It's a Saturday morning." I looked at the clock and did a double take. "And it's way too early for anyone to be up! Four-thirty, Hinata?"

"You of all people would be up earlier than this usually. We have a mission today, remember?" I thought about this for a second as she looked at me sternly.

"Oh! Damn… the farther I travel into teenage-hood the worse my memory gets…" She giggled and rolled her eyes at me again.

"Well hurry up and get ready, Tenten will probably already be waiting by the time we get to the gates."

"Fine, fine." I climbed out of my double bed and padded barefoot over to my dresser. Looking in the mirror, I noticed my hair was a wreck, and that Hinata was frozen and blushing bright red behind me. It took me a second to remember I wasn't wearing anything… at all. I felt my face heat up as well as I quickly pulled a towel off the dresser and wrapped it around my waist. "I, uh, guess I'll get my shower now…" This unfroze her.

"Um, yea okay. I'll get your stuff packed up and then I'll be in the kitchen…" I walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind me, leaving her still standing in the same place and both of us still bright red. I turned the shower on and climbed in, my mind going to work already. This was one of the disadvantages of being so disgustingly in love with your cousin. We lived in the same house, and she tended to play mother a lot. And I noticed that the further into my teenage years I got, the more I forgot to wait until she left the room to get up. Because half the time, I didn't sleep in anything, and she occasionally came in to wake me up. Once or twice she woke me up from a few rather… inappropriate dreams. And realized that I had been dreaming about that sort of thing. In the summer time, I only slept with a silk sheet to cover me. And if I wasn't wearing anything in the summer when she came to wake me up after I had been dreaming about something like that (those dreams usually involving her), my luck was that my sheet had also either slipped off or I was lying on my back. And poor Hinata turns bright red every time. She nearly passed out the first time she caught me like that, and I flipped out and hid in the bathroom the whole day.

I finished my shower, waking up from my inner babble, and my mind seemed to want to jump to those dreams. I remembered one with me catching Hinata naked in my bed, the single silk sheet caressing her every curve as she slept. She moaned my name, her voice laced with desire, and I went to her, leaning down and whispering her name in her ear. She woke up and blushed her typical blush, looking guilty to be caught in my bed, dreaming like that about me, and I kissed her, climbing in with her. I turned right back around and put the water on cold in the shower after I remembered the rest of that dream. As soon as I had flushed those thoughts and feelings from my mind and body, I climbed out of the shower for good and dried off, wandering back out into my room, glad Hinata was no longer in there, but getting a little jerk in my stomach when I looked at the bed with its red silk sheets. The same color as in the dream…

My pack was lying in wait for me on the bed, as well as a clean set of clothes Hinata had so generously pulled out. So I got dressed and grabbed my pack, heading downstairs for the kitchen. I heard her shuffling around and humming softly to herself as she tied up random odds and ends. I paused slightly, listening to her soft humming for a few seconds.

"Almost ready to go?" She asked. I jumped.

"Erm, yea…" I walked into the kitchen, my face probably revealing my surprise. "How did you-"

"Know you were there?" She interrupted. "I'm a kunoichi, Neji. Do you expect me to just sit there oblivious as someone could sneak up on me? I didn't think so." My younger cousin had changed so much in the last few years. She used to be shy, and helpless, the damsel to be saved, but still intent on proving herself without words. Now, she spoke her mind, hardly ever revealing the insecurities she now kept well hidden from the world. She was smart and skilled, determined on proving herself still, that intensity increased. She was over that stupid little blonde who had disappeared for two years with that pervert of a Sanin. And I was all the more in love with her because of it… "Earth to Neji?" Her voice snapped me out of all thought and returned me to real time.

"Ah…erm…sorry. Um, yea I'm ready. Er… thanks for packing my stuff." I have no clue why I bothered thanking her anymore- she always packed my stuff. It seemed I was more the awkward one now.

"Would you stop doing that? I always pack your stuff, whether I'm going with you or not." At this, she tossed me another bag and pulled two of her own over one shoulder and walked by me out the kitchen. I followed automatically and tried to keep my mind in the right place as I followed behind her, but found my concentration somewhat lacking. I couldn't keep my mind off of that dream I had been remembering just a few minutes ago. In my minds eye, I pictured myself crawling in between the sheets with her, could almost feel her warm body against my own, her skin softer than the silk we lay upon, could feel the way she would twist her fingers into my hair and pull, parting my lips to receive her own. I could hear the moans that would escape both of our mouths as our kiss smoldered hotter and our eager bodies ground together; could hear the small intake of breath that would come from her gasping mouth as my fingers would slip between her legs and stroke over her, hot and slick with her arousal.

I cursed myself silently at these wicked thoughts. It pleased me too much and far, far too little to think of her in this way. As I thought this, I noticed that my pants seemed to be quite a bit heavier than usual and I looked down. The rather large bulge I found when I glanced downward proved my suspicions. I just hoped Hinata wouldn't look back within the next minute or so and notice. To distract myself and deflate my erection at least to the point where it was no longer noticeable, I tried picturing various things, such as Hinata and Naruto together, or myself with someone horribly annoying like Sakura. Neither worked, as in either case I just got frustrated and my mind seemed to think it looked more sensible when the pairing was Hinata and I. So I just sighed inwardly and tried my best to be inconspicuous as I shifted myself to hide my erection.

Just as I finished with that, we were approaching the front gates, where Tenten was waiting patiently with a smile. "Good morning, you two." Hinata didn't notice the slight hint at calling us a couple. The way Tenten had said, 'you two' made it obvious that she knew about my feelings for Hinata. Luckily, my cousin was either ignoring it, or oblivious. She just answered with a good morning and told us we should get moving. Tenten glanced downward as soon as Hinata walked past and could no longer see her face, and then she looked back up at my face with a knowing smile plastered on. Obviously if you knew what to look for, my still bothersome erection was still somewhat not hard to find. Tenten stepped into pace with me as I grimaced and she leaned over to whisper in my ear.

"You really gotta stop walking behind her- you might get caught one day with those dirty intentions of yours." She snickered silently, obviously enjoying my well deserved embarrassment. "As soon as we get some time away from her, you gotta tell me all about this fantasy."

"Not a chance," I muttered under my breath. She grinned at this, obviously hearing it. I wondered vaguely if Hinata could hear us, but before I could even go into a panic about that thought, Hinata spoke.

"Okay now, why exactly are we out on a stupid C rank mission at this age and skill level?" I hoped she wasn't just asking this to distract herself from hearing what Tenten had said. I hoped like hell she hadn't heard it at all.

"Because all the kids are out on other stupid missions like this, and the one team of kids that isn't aren't allowed to travel for so long yet." I cut into the conversation here, after Tenten spoke.

"I thought we discussed this already in with Lady Tsunade yesterday?" I should have kept my mouth shut, since I knew what was coming before either of them said anything.

"You know we're just complaining Neji, us girls tend to do that sometimes." I rolled my eyes at Tenten, but Hinata surprised me with what she said next.

"Actually, I was really curious this time. I was sort of… distracted yesterday. So I missed just about everything." My curiosity was peaked.

"Distracted? With what?" Surprisingly, she blushed. I smiled, knowing that one of her old moments was claiming her.

"N-nothing," she squeaked, and I was reminded of her younger self. She turned away and was once again walking in front of us. Tenten leaned in to whisper to me again.

"I bet it was you she was thinking about." I rolled my eyes again at her. "What?" She whispered. "I'm serious. I keep telling you, she likes you too." I whispered back at her this time.

"Stop making me hopeful, it kills me bad enough to know my intentions are disgusting; I don't need you encouraging them."

"You have no intentions, Neji. You are a respectable gentleman. You just have feelings that seem to be in the wrong place. If you had intentions, you would act upon them. Which I still think you should anyway." I sighed heavily. Tenten was wearing on me.

"I absolutely can not act upon anything!" I whispered furiously. "She is my cousin, my feelings are in the wrong place, it is not meant to be, no matter how much I love her, end of story!" This shut Tenten up quickly, and my energy was once again focused on worrying that Hinata could hear us. If she did, she said nothing, just continued walking and humming tunelessly. Her humming soothed me and I relaxed soon enough almost into a state of no thought as I walked along silently behind her.

That, of course, didn't mean I wasn't thinking. Of course I was. I was confused as to why Tenten was so sure about the fact that I should pursue Hinata. I was also confused as to why Hinata had not said anything to us by now. Because if she could hear me over her humming this morning, she could most definitely hear us whispering behind her. I was quieter than that outside of the kitchen this morning. I also didn't know why Hinata didn't say anything anyway, because her and Tenten were also close. Closer than I was to Tenten, so why hadn't she said anything about me to Hinata?

I was lost in this confusion for most of the day, except for during one conversation with Tenten after setting back to the road after lunch. It wasn't much different than the last one.

"Neji are you sure you don't want to say anything to her? It's worth a try at least…" Damn, I thought, the girl certainly is persistent.

"I'm positive. She can't possibly feel towards me the same kind of love I do for her. She is my cousin, Tenten. I don't care how much I wish it otherwise, it cannot and will not work. Now please, stop trying to convince me."

"But Neji-"

"Tenten please…" She stopped only because this change in my whispered tone had not been what she was expecting. "Just… please just drop it, okay? You don't know how much this hurts me, just to talk about. I don't need you confusing me as well, or getting my hopes up." She was once again silent, looking at me with what seemed like pity in her eyes. I just turned away and ignored her. For the rest of the day, confusion reigned free in my mind. Once again, I wondered why Hinata didn't say anything. Maybe it was just too awkward, so she would ignore it. As we walked, Tenten drifted up next to Hinata, leaving me free to contemplate behind them. For once, my mind didn't drift off in a direction it shouldn't, but then it probably wouldn't have if I wanted it to.

We walked a little more after the sun started to set, but quickly found a place to set up camp. "Should we stop here?" The first Hinata had spoken to me all day.

"Yea, it's good. I think there's a stream a little ways that way too." I pointed into the trees, just a general guess at the direction I heard the stream running. We were quiet again, setting up camp, gathering wood for a fire, and getting that started as well. Once camp was set, I took my pack and started walking in the direction of the stream.

"I'm going to go see if it's fit for bathing in." The girls just nodded in acknowledgment. They both knew I just needed to be alone.

The sun was now completely set, leaving a full moon in its place which lit up the summer sky just as well. When I reached the stream, I saw that it was perfect for bathing, and decided I would do exactly that. The water looked so inviting, the moon making it sparkle as it flowed along. I stripped down and waded into the gurgling water. It was waist deep in the middle and I just stood there for a moment in silence, letting the almost warm water caress me, letting the soft noises the running water made calm me.

Despite the best of my abilities, my mind still drifted to Hinata. I let Tenten's words infiltrate my mind as I washed myself. I couldn't get over how strongly she felt to push the issue. "I keep telling you, she likes you too." Even if Hinata did have even an inkling of the feelings I had for her, I still could not allow us to be together. We were cousins, for the sake of Kami, cousins! The entire family was already rumored to be one big incestuous mess; I didn't need to be adding proof to those suspicions. Hinata was the official heir to the main branch of the Hyuuga clan, and I was merely a subordinate. A simple branch member, and no matter how much a name for myself that I had made, nothing was going to change that. No amount of genius, or power, or love could change who I was born to, change my place in the world.

But despite all logic, the thought still plagued me; what if Hinata did have any sort of feeling for me? The answer to that had been whirling in my mind for years now, submerged beneath the fantasies, and hiding behind the hope, playing hide and seek with the doubt. If she felt for me the same way that I did for her, well, true love conquers all, does it not? People can keep secrets, or stage disappearances, or even wipe memories. There were Justus that could change the memories of certain events in the minds of entire villages of people. And then there were chances that people could accept things as they turn out; chances that some people had more open minds than we thought them to. My brain went into overdrive imagining all of the different things that could happen if she had even the smallest idea of how I felt… and felt the same way. A sharp pain raked through my head after a few moments and I decided to just stop thinking. Moving slightly towards the bank of the stream, I sat down in the water and proceeded to work on my meditation skills.

Just so you know, the next chapter will be the events described above in Hinata's POV- the puddle of emotions is just too good for you to miss out on. Don't worry, you won't be bored.