SUMMARY: AU. On military leave, Sasuke Uchiha is housed with a fellow comrade…and finds love with the shy cousin.

BETA'ED BY: Crack Master - NewRageInc.


It had been such a stressful day at work, her father Hiashi was breathing down her neck to get the next marketing campaign wrapped up and printed. Problem was they needed to agree on a design first. Another problem was that it was in Hiashi's hands to choose one. Regardless, she was still the one to blame for missing the deadline of the new launch, and because of that, she wouldn't make her bonus this month. She was alright with that, any extra income she received went straight to Hanabi's schooling fund anyway. After the awful display two years ago between her, her sister, and their father, she was now completely responsible for her younger sister Hanabi. Her cousin Neji had been leaving after a short three day stay to go back into the service, and Hiashi refused his daughters pleas to send him off.

That was the first time Hinata ever stood up to her father. Nothing and no one was going to keep her from seeing him off. Knowing he could be killed any day, knowing she may never see him again. Who knew when he would have another chance to come home? So, after Hinata finally stood up gallantly to her father, Hanabi stood in defiantly and held her sisters ground for her. Screaming, shouting, and accusing Hiashi of being the worst father in the world. During his own tirade, he said that since Hinata was so great and since she was legal of age to move out on her own, Hanabi could go with her. So, he had successfully kicked his own daughters out of his home. Hanabi was fifteen, and Hinata was twenty one. Hinata was still surprised that Hiashi granted her an internship within the family business, and even allowed her employment afterwards while she was still schooling. So any money that came Hinata's way, that didn't have to go for bills, groceries, the mortgage, and car insurance, all went to Hanabi and her future for college. Meaning, that until Hanabi was actually in college; Hinata had to stay back from med school full-time so that she could take care of her sister. She did take all of the offered nightly courses that came her way, so that she wouldn't have to make up for everything when she could return.

Hiashi was a strong-willed man, hard-headed and to defiant to apologize to his daughters. Even going so far to sign over guardianship to Hinata over Hanabi, but lenient enough to allow them to keep any money they had earned under his care. Meaning all allowances he previously granted them, which turned that was quite a sum. Hinata was Hanabi's full guardian in all legal matters. Having to put up with student-teacher conferences, making sure Hanabi did all of her homework, didn't party every weekend, and everything else that came with raising teenager. Good thing that Hinata was already used to taking care of her sister. She always made sure Hanabi was on top of her grades. She always made the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for her family anyway. But it was all so stressful. She was twenty three now, owned her own home, a small car, worked full time for Hyuuga Corp, and was currently enrolled in medical school, taking some courses at night.

Thinking of school, she was waiting for Hanabi to turn in her last report card of the year before summer break. Her sister would be graduating from high school in just another month. She had the graduation party set and everything planned. Invitations were ready to be sent out next week, including one for their father, and the food already picked out for delivery. Now if only the girl would choose a college to attend. She had several scholarships offered to her. One was for her athletic abilities, another for her artistic trends. One for her amazing grades, and another because of the fact that she was a Hyuuga. Hiashi, from early on, prepped his girls, especially Hanabi, to eventually take over the Hyuuga Corp. in his stead. Things first went sour when Hinata accepted a scholarship and joined a school for medicine. Hinata wasn't sure if Hanabi had any idea what she wanted with her future. If she desired to be in the medical field like her, a business tycoon like their father, or …anything. She constantly asked her of her plans, and encouraged her to think about it. Now that it was down to the wire, she would be graduating, and didn't know where to go from there. She would not be happy if Hanabi came home to tell her she would be taking a year or two off from schooling to find herself, or something along those lines.

Sighing to herself, she finally pulled into the curved driveway of her two-story home and parked her vehicle in the garage. Walking routinely to the mailbox, and then sorting through the junk mail and pulling out one bill, electric, she finally noticed the hand written script, addressed to her. She smiled brightly and rushed into the home, throwing down her purse and sitting down abruptly on the floor to quickly open the long-awaited letter. She knew just by the hand-writing on the envelope that her cousin Neji had finally written her back. She read through the contents then read them again. This couldn't be real! She'll have to call Tenten, but only after she re-read it again.

Dear Hinata;

Sorry it took so long to get back to you and thank you for the last package. I've been out on the front lines and all communications were lost for over a week. I'm with a fellow anbu captain in our small patched-up tent, trying to hear past the heavily falling rain. How is Hanabi faring under your care? If she gives you too much trouble you can tell her that she will have to answer to me. Which will be sooner than I thought. We've finally been given a brief relieve, for over 6 months. I should be in port sometime in August; I'll give the details when I learn them. I was wondering though, if I could get your permission to bring home another captain with me? I wouldn't ask, only he has no where to go. Has no family, his only friends are those in the military. I haven't asked him yet, and it's up to you. He's a good shinobi and a good man too. Anyway, give my love to Tenten, and tell her that I miss her too. I'm thinking about all of you every day, and I know you're doing the same for me. I'm exhausted and need to rest up before we get deployed tomorrow. My squad has been called in to relieve our Suna allies. Here's to looking forward to August and seeing everyone again.

Love, Neji

Ring, ring.

"Hey Hinata," came a cheery, out of breath voice.

"He's coming home!" she uncharacteristically squealed.


"Tenten! He's coming home! For six months too!" Hinata said, still excited from the news.

'H-he is? Neji is ... c-coming home?" Tenten sounded far away to Hinata.

"Yes. Tenten?"

"…do you know when?" Hinata knew then that the girl was trying desperately not to cry.

"Sometime in August, Tenten why don't you join Hanabi and I for dinner tonight? I don't have any classes this evening," offered Hinata, "that way you can read the letter too."

"Okay. He's really coming home Hina?" Tenten asked, tears in her voice.

"He is, and he said he loves and misses you. There was another envelope with my letter, it's addressed to you. I think he's running out of stamps, I'll have to send him more."

"I'll be right over." Tenten said quickly.

Smiling brightly and dancing her way into the study room, she gently placed the letter, now back in its envelope, on top of the old wooden desk they both used for school. Sighing happily, she then went into the kitchen to start preparing for dinner that evening. Hanabi should be coming home shortly from school, and she couldn't wait to share the news with her sister. Really, Hinata considered herself lucky overall. Hanabi made things easy for her, for the most part, and she listened well. She did have a boyfriend now, and one had to consider if it was a political move on Hiashi's part. Hinata knew though, that it was young love just looking at the two. Hanabi just happened to fall in love with the Hokage's grandson. Konohamaru was a good kid though, in Hinata's opinion. He was a little loud and brash, but that was best for Hanabi. He drew her out and allowed the girl to have a somewhat normal teenage life. He alleviated a lot of the stress on Hanabi, making Hinata grateful to the young man. Still, she had to watch the two closely, she wasn't about to let anything happen to her sister before she herself was ready. Regardless if Hanabi thought she was ready, Hinata wasn't.

Humming to herself, thinking about seeing her cousin again while chopping up vegetables, she didn't hear as the front door was opened. Nor did she hear the gasp and running. No, she didn't realize the near panic state Hanabi was in until she was right in her face.

Wide lilac eyes met wide soft gray ones. "Are you okay?" asked Hanabi, tense and ready to spring into action.

More running was heard, and Hinata peered around her sister to see Konohamaru with the same expression on his face. They were worried. "Good afternoon Konohamaru!"

"What happened?" Hanabi inquired, stepping back a little to look her sister over.

Turning back to her chopping, she asked, "Hanabi what's wrong?"

"That's what I'm trying to figure out!" Hanabi groaned.

"W-what do you mean?"

"I think she wants to know why there was mail on the front lawn, the door unlocked, and your purse dumped all over the living room floor. She seems okay to me." Konohamaru shrugged at the end.

"Right, now…what happened?" Hanabi asked, still serious.

"Oh! He's coming home Hanabi!"

Briefly looking confused, Hanabi stared at her sister. Before glomping her and hugging her tight. "Where's the letter!?"

"It's on the desk. Oh, and Tenten is coming for dinner. You're welcome to stay Konohamaru."

"You're cooking right?" he asked, looking sheepishly at Hanabi, who glared at him.

"Y-yes." Hinata answered feeling a little awkward.

"Sold. So, who's coming home?" he asked, moving out of Hanabi's way as she made her way to the study.

"Our cousin Neji, he hasn't been home in almost two years now." Hinata explained.

"Right, the one in the military. That's good news, when is he coming?"

"He mentioned sometime in August, but I don't know the exact d-date yet."

"Cool, I can't wait to meet him."

"He'll like you, I'm sure. But he'll still threaten you, so be warned." Hinata admitted with a smile remembering her cousin's over-protectiveness.

"Warning taken, just because you approve of me doesn't mean he will."

"Well he'll just have to deal, I'm seventeen." Hanabi said, walking in with the letter in her hand. "Hinata, who's this other shinobi he's talking about?"

Hinata looked up from her work to her sister, confusion clearly settled in her eyes.

"…. I was wondering though, if I could get your permission to bring home another captain with me? I wouldn't ask, only he has no where to go. Has no family, his only friends are those in the military. I haven't asked him yet, and it's up to you. He's a good shinobi and a good man too..." she read.

"What?" Hinata paled at the thought of a strange man in her home.

"He wants to bring home a friend, he'll be waiting for your answer sis," Hanabi grinned.

"A f-f-friend?" she placed a fist over her now fluttering heart.

Konohamaru stiffened, "Um Hinata? You alright?"

Now he was looking her over, thinking she was having a stroke or something.

"She's alright, just nervous. Didn't you read the letter?" asked Hanabi, "Of course you did, it was opened."

"I-I g-guess I was s-s-so happy to s-see that h-he was c-c-coming home I didn't n-notice the r-rest."

"Are you sure she's alright? She's really red now too." He said putting his palm over his girlfriend's sister's forehead.

"Tch, she's fine. Really Hinata, if you want to be a doctor, then you'd better get over this nervousness! What will you do when you have a hot guy for a patient and he needs a physical examination?" Hanabi asked, wriggling her brows suggestively.

"That was not nice," Konohamaru stated as he caught Hinata during her faint.

Laughing loudly, "But it's so much fun to tease her! Check her pulse, is it normal?" She nodded after the confirmation, she knew she shouldn't have pushed her sister into a faint, it wasn't good for her at all, given her condition. But her sister brought in on herself! She did!

Oh but she just couldn't wait! Her cousin was coming home, and she wanted to talk to him about something…


Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, shape, or form, own anything related to this story. I don't own characters, storylines, or plots. It's called fanfiction, and this is just a twist from the Naruto series.