Title: Little Lines Crossed
Series: Naruto
Character/Pairing: NejiHinata
Rating: PG-13
A/N: comment_fic: seeing Hinata wearing his clothing is an oddly pleasant sight. /
36 ) Who is so safe as we, where none can do
Treason to us, except one of us two?

I didn't want to break the flow, so somehow there happened to be a flashback in present tense. I know, I know. No need to crit on this oddity, it's something I tweaked with but had to leave as it was as it was killing me. Possibly AU in aspects, future!tense, etc. etc. etc.

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"Pull down your forehead protector. Straighten your shoulders."

She does so, wordless. The Genjutsu fits over her, with only the shimmering edge his Byakugan could see. To everyone else that wasn't an in possession of a Sharigan or Hyuga family member, it would seem a perfect doppleganger. He looks at himself as mimicked by her, seeing Hinata wearing his clothing is an oddly pleasant sight. In her eyes he seems taller, broader and given to more confidence, though not enough that anyone else would notice.

"Don't talk as much as possible."

She nods, and the image of him nods with her. She's grown much since the girl he'd known and hated. She is sinuous now, with the shape of a woman. He studies her, from her less-stooped shoulders to her curves. He emulates it in his Genjutsu, down to her lingering habit of biting her lip. She doesn't stutter as much anymore, but sometimes it comes out when she is anxious. It comes over him, like a hooded cloak, and with a similar warmth.

"It's a good likeness."

The blush he manipulated through the Genjustu made her laugh, soft, with a ruddy tint to her own cheeks to mirror the Genjutsu.

She dares further and touches his cheek. It is a gentle touch, slipping through the vision of herself to him, his own face. She could destroy him in one move if she wanted. Her fingers to his forehead, and his life would be over. Everything, all of it done. But he knows she won't.

She is far too softhearted.

He remembers it well, as if it were now, this second, this moment: after the funeral, the elder and the favored, the cruel and the kind. The fight is bloody, and almost to the death. Hanabi does not hold back even if Hinata is her blood, and bones crack, bruises form. His battle against Hinata seems merciful by comparison. First one of Hinata's ribs crack, then a wrist, and an ankle. She strikes back in pain, in anger only to regret it when she hears the same cracking in her sister's body. It is a dance, their fight, chakra sealing, twisting dance of two where only one can be. But when the time comes, Hinata steps back from the killing blow, refuses what fate hands her. No, she will not kill her own blood, no. She walks away from where Hanabi lies, leg broken, seemingly immobilized, perfect for a last blow. When she turns, It is Neji she falls against, uses as a crutch. When she turns, Hanabi rises to her feet, unseen by her, and takes those steps towards her and there is the awful sound of vertebra breaking. He sees it, as if it were now.

The last blow is his, but not a killing blow. Hanabi falls, her limbs immobilized, blood dripping from the corner of her mouth.

The others of the Hyuga, the same ones who placed the seal on him as a child come fast, to destroy the usurper. Finally, he has snapped as they have expected of him. Finally, it is his time.

Hinata coughs. "Don't. I-I am head now. No one else is allowed to touch him."

They stop in their tracks. They stare at him, cold. The weakest, the royal unworthy one has saved him in the end, and freed him. And when it passes, when she is rushes into blackness as medic-nins are called. he stays by her. She now has entire control of him, and no other Hyuga will touch him, for he is hers. By that, he is freed, for the only person he answers to is her, and by that he is lifted from the least to the greatest. He is a shadow beside her, a bodyguard, an untold lover. More than that, she asks of him whenever a problem arises. She shares with him everything, and he is the bolster, and unseen second half of the house. In this generation, the house has mended its jagged pieces. They will marry, someday, and he will be the last of the lesser house. With him will die the subservience, the fear and the constant promise of death. But they haven't let their plans show yet, for the rest of the house will surely be opposed. They cling to old traditions, however heinous. It wouldn't be beyond them to support Hanabi as their leader, fracturing the Hyuga into two parts. The old house and the new house.

Time will tell.

She has become formidable now, and he even more so. They spar daily, and she has wrested several wins from him. He knows the freckles on breasts, a birthmark on her back, the scars over her body. With that, his vision of her is perfectly rendered, for he knows her like he has known no other.

Her hands go gradually down, until they rest on his neck.

"You don't have to do this if you don't want to."

"No, Hinata-sama."

This time it is not sarcasm or ironic when he says the last of her name. He has surpassed fate by accepting that it can be subverted.

"I will take care of him."

The pleasure of shutting out his chakra, of hearing this missing-nin's spine crack will be his. It is what he deserves for daring try and take down this house, to take her away.

He'd hated her once, as the symbol of everything weak and entitled; the blood of royalty that produced a weak heir. He'd stewed away, hate corrugating his insides after his father gave himself up for that worthless main house. All the while he was the strongest, the brightest, the best.

They'd made him, they'd made him–

But he knew now. His father had gone for one reason: because he loved his brother. It wasn't entitlement or avarice, or forced at the threat of death, but love that his life had been given. Even with the treatment, the cold, distant place they had been exiled, his father had loved. How long it takes to realize this is not a weakness, how long, how long.

He kneels, rests his head against her. Her, in a cloak of his face strokes his hair. Her breasts are soft against him. Everything about her is soft, comfortable. He lingers there but a moment, for the walls are thin and mere paper to the eyes of the rest of the clan.

He rises, and when he rises it is as her. He will be the bait, and she far safer. He takes this danger for the same reason as his father gave up his life: love, and simply that.