A day had passed, then a week, and finally three months went by.
Overall, she suffered a broken hip, multiple bruises, a serious concussion, and needed several stitches on her back and wrist. It took a week to heal from most bruises and head trauma, three weeks to get the stitches taken out, and a full seven weeks before she could finally walk on her own for an entire day.
A psychiatrist visited her at home twice a week to talk about her feelings and emotions now that everything was over. Still, she had mixed dreams of terror. That and of swimming in the depths of beautiful black eyes at night. It had been three months, and her life was finally starting to resemble some sense of normalcy.
Ko escorted her back and forth to work, walking with her all the way to her office at Hyuuga Corp. before leaving her side. Her sister spent every available minute with her, as did her cousin; although her father still kept that same distance that he always had when it came to his eldest daughter. It was considered a miracle that he even visited her the two times while she was in the hospital; he was a busy man after all.
Citizens of Konoha and the rest of the nation sent her mounds of flowers and well wishes through letters. Some even sending money, all of which she saved up to donate to a charity for victims like herself. For the first few weeks after the incident, the press was constantly waiting to snap a shot of her in the hospital. It grew worse on the day she was released to go home for private physical therapy. Her face and story was the focus of several newsletters, articles, news stations, and gossip websites. Rumors flew that she had been raped, drugged; there was even one awful article out there that said it was all a set-up for publicity. Now that three months had passed by, Konoha finally seemed to be settling down and chasing after new stories. Leaving her, gratefully, alone to cope.
It hurt to sit all day in her office at work, but she was a Hyuga and managed to suffer through. She still felt as though she were a disappointment to her father, her family, but there was little she could do about that.
She thought about him. About the man that saved her life. His name was Itachi Uchiha; he was a well-established captain for the police task force. She wasn't ashamed to admit that she researched him every night, wanting to know everything about him, she even went as far as printing out pictures of him and studying them. He was handsome. They shared at least one familiar trait, both having a younger sibling.
She wanted to see him again, to properly thank him, but she was so shy there was just no way she would go through with it, after all she was borderline obsessed with him at this point. She couldn't just go up to the police station and see him. Or could she? If anything, hadn't the experience she went through made her stronger?
The image of his determined dark gaze never left, it was always there in her mind's eye.
If she didn't know better, she might think that she was half way in love with him. Maybe she was. Or maybe she was in love with the idea of him. Maybe her mind was just fractured enough that she believes anything.
His department had never received so much publicity as it had with the Hyuga kidnapping case. In which called for an unusually happy chief of police, a.k.a. his father. Uzumaki and Inuzuka sure ate up the press that lingered at the steps of their department in the first couple days. Everyone else was exceptionally annoyed by the presence of the pesky photogs.
The investigation was still open, but out of his departments hands. The money stolen from FireLeaf Bank was never recovered. The missing member Zetsu still hadn't been found or heard of. The man called Tobi was the biggest surprise though. The man turned out to be his long thought murdered uncle, Madara Uchiha, now he was nothing but a stain to the established clan. Tobi, or Madara rather, had managed to break out of prison; there was still a manhunt out for him. According to documents and interrogations of the heiress, his uncle more than likely suffered from multiple-personality disorder. Great, so there was a lunatic running around out there in the streets of Konoha, associated with the now widely known group of criminals, Akatsuki.
One thing that made him and his team uneasy and cautious, was that nothing was heard from that group since that day. Oh well, no longer his case.
That fateful bad day though, did bring out the crazies in town. Copy cats attempting robbery, a few more cases of kidnapping, only they were all handled easily. Basically, he's been busier now more than usual. He's actually pretty gratuitous about that, because being busy kept his mind from wandering. The questioning of the Hyuga heiress was left to his man Ibiki Morino, so he hadn't seen the girl since the rescue. He knew the injuries she sustained, and that she provided more details on Tobi. Other than that, he didn't know anything.
It was still happening though, and it was becoming a nuisance. He shrugged it off the first few nights, when all he could see was her eyes looking back at him, it kept him from sleeping. But three months later, he still had problems getting to sleep at a decent hour because he couldn't get those pleading pale eyes out of his mind. He would toss and turn at night when he was normally a very still sleeper.
No case, no victim, hell no woman for that matter, had ever affected him like this before.
Itachi, uncharacteristically, let out a small sigh before standing up to look out of his office window. He wasn't a man of habits, but this was one of them, watching people going place to place, rushing to get somewhere. It calmed him at times, odd.
Maybe he should have checked in on her while she was still in the hospital. But why would he? He had no reason to. He had never been a man that went out of his way.
Turning around to get back to work, his eyes immediately caught sight of the very girl occupying his thoughts. He straightened as he watched a small blush illuminate her cheeks; apparently, she was just about to knock on the frame of his door.
"Itachi," her blush grew brighter and she pushed her two index fingers together, "I-I mean Captain Uchiha."
His face remained impassive as he took in the sight of her. The pale eyes he was so familiar with were looking worried and a little embarrassed. Her hair was straight and shiny, hanging long down her back, her face bruise free. She looked so different than the last time he saw her, some of the guilt of not getting to her faster eased away. She looked good, healthy and …beautiful.
"U-um, I d-don't know if you r-r-remem-remember me um, I…"
"I remember you, Hinata," his own voice sounded hoarse to his ears, "How are you?"
She seemed to relax some, she even sent him a small smile, "I'm good."
He nodded his head once, taking a slow step in her direction. "That's good."
She smiled and then again with another blush, how fascinating, "U-um I," she tilted her head to stare briefly at his hardwood floor before glancing back up at him again rather bashfully, "I wanted to s-stop by a-a-and thank you."
His own head tilted slightly to the side, "You're wel…"
Sasuke suddenly came up behind Hinata, Itachi watched his little brother's face as he finally recognized who she was. Sasuke's eyes widened just slightly before sending her a very small smile (very un-like him) and asking how she had been holding up.
It actually bothered him that Hinata seemed to be talking easier with his brother, with him she seemed to be all nerves. Perhaps Uzumaki was right, maybe he was too intimidating.
"So, what are you doing here, Miss Hyuga?" Sasuke asked as he folded his arms across his chest and leaned against his open door.
"Oh," she blushed again and looked at Itachi, "I wanted t-to take your bro-Captain to l-lunch…to thank him f-for…for."
Itachi noticed she couldn't say it, the memory was still to raw for her. So again, he saved her, "I am free now."
By the bright smile that lit up her eyes, Itachi decided that he didn't mind saving the heiress. No, he didn't mind one little bit.
"And the halo that was once broken slowly started to heal and mend; with the help of your grandfather, of course," Hinata whispered to her eldest grandchild as she tried to get her to sleep.
"Wow, really Granny Hina? Papa Tachi sounds so cool," her five-year old face brightened.
Hinata giggled, "Oh he was, he has saved my life everyday it seems."
The young girl looked confused, "But Granny Hina, how can he still save you if he died?"
Suddenly choking back tears with the reminder at the loss of her soul mate, Hinata smiled brightly as she said, "Because Hanali, I still think of him. I still see his dark eyes as I sleep at night. And you know what?"
Little Hanali shook her head, making the small tufts of dark curls twirl about her pillow, "What?"
A tear rolled down her cheek, "He's still there, every night, watching over me. And…he's watching over you, your brothers, and all your cousins too!"
"What about daddy?"
Hinata nodded, "Yes, he looks after all of us Hanali, and he always will."
That night, closing her eyes as she rest against the pillow. The vision of beautiful and endless dark pools called to her, and Hinata sent him his favorite smile, as he welcomed her home in his arms.
Where she always felt safe.
Once again, this, in its entirety, is dedicated to Faenea. And a special thanks to cheh - just for...everything.
Thank you everyone for all the support and feedback on this wee short story. My first complete fic! Woohoo!
Hmmm...what next? Signing out, ~Lady Crack