Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto-san and he owns all the copyrights.
Summary: Hinata's point of view while she fights Pein, based mostly off of the anime with a few references from the manga.
The old saying that she had heard many times amongst shinobis was 'No Pain No Gain.' It was funny how that saying was so true, especially when one worked to become stronger. For the course of Hinata's life, she could remember each and every single hardship that life had given her. Yet as painful as each scenario was and as much as some people would rather have their painful memories erased, Hinata had embraced them. Because through each painful encounter, no matter how many tears she shed, no matter how sore her body was... these moments helped carve her into the shinobi that she was today. Even though the road had been tough and at times it seemed like there was no hope at all, Hinata would simply grit her teeth and charge forward with all her might. 'I stand by what I say. That is my Nindo.' She had made a promise to herself that she would change and in Hinata's mind, there was no going back on her word.
Her entire gratitude went to, Uzumaki Naruto. It was because of him that she was able to change, it was because of him that she was able to never give up and it was because of him that she was able to find courage. Had it not been for Naruto, Hinata doubted that she would have changed at all. In fact she would probably, to this day, be the weak, sniffling Hyuuga Heiress who everyone looked down upon. For Hinata, all credit for who she was today went to Naruto. She could always see the pain in his blue eyes. The pain of rejection, humiliation and being unsuccessful; Hinata knew this pain well, which was why out of everyone in their class she fully understood him. Even though it was painful for him, he still smiled and jumped back to his feet to try again. It amazed her. At first her feelings for the blond shinobi were only that of inspiration. Every time she saw him or heard his voice, an intense feeling would spread throughout her entire being and whatever this feeling was, it made Hinata believe she could do anything.
It was during the Chuunin exam when Hinata started to realize that her feelings for Naruto were more than what she had first thought. Slowly it had blossomed into something more… love. Even though what Naruto had said to her that day was probably just an off hand comment on his part, it had meant the world to Hinata. 'People like you I could really like'. It certainly wasn't a confession or anything, but she still held his words close to her heart, hoping that one day he would look her way and think of her as more than a friend.
Even though she had experienced many levels of pain whether it was physical or emotional, Hinata never imagined she would feel this great extent in less than an hour.
At first it had been emotional distress. Watching the man she loved fight someone who had single handedly destroyed the village in one blow. Knowing that no matter what she did, she would be of no help to the situation. Her chest had tightened, her body trembling with anxiety and her fists had clenched tightly together, knowing that there was nothing she could do. Hinata's emotional pain continued to increase as she watched Naruto being struck down by pain, his hands now pierced into the ground. At that moment only one thought had crossed her mind, 'Go help him!' She didn't stand a chance. She didn't have a hope of defeating the enemy, nor would she be of any help to Naruto… however there were no second thoughts or hesitations. Hinata's feet were moving on their own accord and even though in the back of her mind she knew what the outcome would be, she still lunged forward.
Yes, she was being so selfish right now with her actions. She had no expectation of winning; instead Hinata honestly believed that this spot would be her grave. If this was to be her spot of burial though, she wanted to have no regrets before entering the afterlife, which finally gave her the courage she could never find to confess to Naruto. She told him everything, everything that she had ever wanted to say to him ever since he had returned home. Hinata did not know what his reaction to her words was, but once she was finished it was time to face her destiny. However, before facing her fate, the Hyuuga Heiress promised herself that she would not go down without a fight. She activated her Byakugan. Taking on the enemy head on would be considered foolish, so she did the next best thing… remove Naruto's restraints. The first blow had been successful. But as she went for the second strike, a force with power she did not know existed knocked Hinata clear off her feet.
This time it was a physical ache that left her dazed for a second. A salty, irony taste was now in her mouth, but after many battles with her sister, cousin and father, Hinata was used to the blood flavor. She pondered upon her opponent's abilities for a moment, for he had not moved from his spot at all and had only raised his hand. 'One more time' she thought, charging forward again to help free Naruto from the poles embedded in his body. Before her hands could even touch the metal, Hinata was once again thrown into the air. She skidded across the ground and lost how many times she had flipped over before coming to a complete stop.
The physical pain was increasing. Her first impact with the ground that time had been her head, and after constantly being rolled on the ground Hinata was pretty sure that her nose was cracked too. She could feel the blood trickling out of her mouth, nostril and from the top of her head. But this did not faze her. Hinata ignored the blood and the pain that trembled through her body as she struggled to stand up. This pain was nothing new, for she had endured it before many times in previous battles. This was nothing. She watched as her foe blocked the path towards Naruto, Hinata would not be able to get close to him.
She had to do something.
Changing her attack plan, Hinata began to gather chakara into her fists and forearms. Her body ached in protest, but she ignored its pleas. Gritting her teeth, she focused on the task at hand by gathering as much chakara as she could. Hinata was not sure if this attack would work, however she could not let it end like this and even if there was the slightest chance that this could help Naruto…
Jyuuho Soshiken. A high level Hyuuga attack that very few knew how to control. She had been practicing in secret, hoping to impress her father the next time she sparred with him. Since it would be her fist time using it in battle, Hinata hoped that it would have some affect to the outcome of this situation. She charged once again. Every strike, every kick or lunge seemed to be futile, for Pein dodged all of them.
The emotional pain was rising fast in her mind. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how fast she moved, she could not land a single strike on her opponent. It was frustrating, it was reality that she was no match for this foe, it was humiliating that she could do nothing to help. Hinata watched as he raised his hand towards her, and she was prepared for the same blow that had hit her before… but he hesitated. 'Now's my chance!' She hit him with all the force she could muster and watched as he staggered back. Hinata felt thrilled that she had struck her opponent, but now was not the time to celebrate. She had to free Naruto! Without a moment's hesitation, she leaped towards the blond shinobi again, knocking off another pole that held him prisoner. As she moved in for another strike, the invisible force collided with her again, compelling her into the air.
Higher and higher she flew into the air. Hinata felt like a rag doll with the way her body and limbs moved uncontrollably. She could hear nothing, nor could she feel anything either as if her body had gone numb. Her head was spinning and the need to rest was over powering her senses. For some reason being so high up in the air made her feel peaceful and free, however that feeling did not last long and left instantly when gravity started to take its dutiful role. Head first she plummeted back towards the ground. The wind whistled in her ears as she fell back down faster and faster. Closing her eyes for impact, the only thing she could hear over the wind was Naruto agonizingly calling out her name.
With a sickening thud she hit the ground. For a moment she blacked out, remembering a time when she and Naruto had been children and he had rescued her. How she had wanted to thank him for his efforts, but she had been dragged away by Koh and told that she was not to associate with the boy. They had left him just lying on the ground unconscious. It was one of the many days that she regretted. Never ever having the courage to go over and talk to him, never having the courage to ask if she could be his friend. Her blackened world soon started to brighten as she heard somebody desperately calling out her name, wanting to make sure that she was still alive.
It was pain she had never really felt before. She was used to Jyuuken strikes and internal injuries from the attacks… but this, this was different. Forcefully, she opened her eyes, even though her body desperately begged for rest. Blinking a few times, her world slowly came back into focus. It was excruciating. Hinata was sure that a lot of her bones were cracked and her ankle was sprained from the fall. Her head was throbbing and the taste of blood was so overwhelming the need to throw up was becoming stronger.
This was it.
She could no longer fight.
It was over.
No. No it wasn't over yet. She was still breathing and could feel her limbs even though they felt like they were on fire. She could still do something! Slowly she rolled onto her stomach, wincing from her injured ribs while she tried to stand. Her body trembled as it struggled to get back up, but the pain was too much as she collapsed back onto the hard ground. Determined that this battle was not yet over, she fought her body's pain to get back onto her feet. Planting her sandals firmly into the ground, Hinata slowly began to rise up. Another wave of dizziness hit her like a ton of bricks causing her to stumble back a bit, but she held her ground. Taking a step forward, a piercing pain shot up through her ribs, indicating that they were indeed cracked. Clutching her abdomen with her left arm, Hinata slowly staggered forward, mindful to keep her weight off her sprained ankle.
Taking one step at a time she made her way back towards the person she was trying to protect. He stared at her with anguish, grief and sorrow. Her foe, however, stared at her with an emotion that she hated most, pity. Pein knew that she was done for and the look that he was giving her was a clear warning to back off. Retreat, admit defeat, withdraw or flee. Perhaps logically she should have done either of those things, but there was one and only one thought on her mind right now… help Naruto by all means. Less than ten steps later her body succumbed to the pain coursing through her, which in turn caused her to collapse.
She hit the ground again. For a moment she lay there motionless, letting her body have a second to recover before forcing it up off the ground again. Her muscles trembled as they forced her legs to stand. It was pitiful; even she had to admit it; Staggering towards an enemy who could easily kill her without even blinking an eye, trying to help someone who was out of her reach to aid. Her fate was sealed. She had failed in trying to rescue Naruto. It hurt. It hurt more than the pain trembling throughout her entire being. Tears started to pool in her eyes as she once again staggered forward, wanting desperately to help the blond ninja in anyway possible before she met her destiny.
Naruto was speaking now. He didn't want her to come any closer. It was too painful for him to watch her being tossed around like a rag doll and beaten down so easily. However she could not grant his request. Again she was being selfish and would do anything she could until her body would no longer move. Memories once again played through her mind, showing her the times he had inspired her. Each moment gave her the strength and courage to keep moving forward. In any situation Naruto never gave up, even when the situation seemed dire. She would do the same.
Less then five feet away, her body had reached its limit. Her legs were rendered useless and no longer had the strength for her to stand again. That did not stop her. If she could not stand, then she would crawl. Her arms shook while she tried to push herself up, her face scraping along the ground as she moved onward. Gasping for breath, trembling from the throbbing pain and the agonizing look on her face, it was no wonder that Naruto was staring at her with such pity. His eyes shivered with agony as he watched her crawl towards him and soon it was too much for him to bear as he dropped his gaze to the ground, unable to look at her.
She was so close to him now.
Pein watched her with stern, yet confused eyes as she finally reached her goal. Hinata wanted to touch him. Just for once to experience what it would be like to touch his hand, or even run her fingers through his blond spikes. Any moment now Pein would strike her down for one final time, so would it not seem sensible to just try something she had always dreamed of? No. She could still help… even though there was nothing she could possibly do to tip the scale in this situation; she would fight until the very end. Gasping for breath she forced her body up again, trying to ignore the pain.
Her foe voiced his confusion as he watched her grab the metal rod that held Naruto's hands down. He couldn't understand why someone as weak as her was trying so hard to resist. Couldn't understand why she would try to fight him in the first place. As she firmly grasped the rod, she felt a jolt of his chakara pierce through her. It was as if he had just read her thoughts when he asked, 'Knowing . . . that you will die?'
Hinata pulled with what little strength she had left, but the rod would not budge or move at all. This was it. Wheezing for air, she tried a few more times to move Naruto restraint, but it was futile. Pein would strike her down any second since she was still interfering, but perhaps… at least… she could answer his question and let Naruto truly know how much he had inspired her.
"I stand by what I say…" she whispered painfully, her eyes fixed only on the person she loved the most. His head rose up off the ground, blue eyes staring at her with astonishment, "Because that's… my Nindo…" Something told her that the end was now, and as she stared into his surprised expression, Hinata offered him one last smile.
Suddenly she was flying again.
Her body flipped and tossed into the air.
This time she did not have to wait for gravity to return her back to earth, instead her nemesis took care of it, practically thrusting her back into the ground which in turned cause it to crater. She could feel nothing . . . no more pain . . . no more anything . . . and the only thing she could hear was Naruto screaming.
Pale violet eyes snapped open, staring about the darkened room that was temporarily the Hyuuga sleeping quarters.
Hinata let out the breath she was holding and closed her eyes once more in an attempt to sleep. I was dreaming again, about that day. It had been weeks since the destruction of the village, and already things were starting to get back on track with the re-construction of Konoha. However not everything was going along smoothly in the world. From Sasuke being claimed disposable, to a five kage meeting and now the threat of a fourth ninja war starting, things were certainly not looking good.
Rolling onto her other side, the Hyuuga Heiress tried to clear her mind and fall asleep again; however her efforts were being denied. After literally reliving one of the bravest and most painful moments of her life, all Hinata could think about was her blond crush. Sighing in defeat, she slowly and quietly got out of her sleeping bag in hopes that a small walk in the night air would help clear her thoughts.
Stepping outside the building where she, Hanabi and Neji slept, Hinata began her small stroll through the recovering village, making her way more towards the trees. She wanted to listen to the sounds of the night; crickets chirping, the owls hooting softly. As she began walking through the forest, her thoughts briefly drifted back to that day. As much as she wanted to talk to Naruto on what had transpired, part of her knew that now was not the time to discuss the topic. There were much more important things that she and Naruto had to deal with right now.
Also, the fact that Naruto hadn't sought her out yet could be seen in two ways. One, he was probably just as busy as her with all the chaos going on. And two, the fact that he hadn't sought her out yet was proof that he was actually taking the time to think about what he was going to say to her. It was unquestionable that eventually the two of them would have to talk about what happened that day, and she would wait for however long it took for them to have that conversation. She had waited six years to confess her love and she would gladly wait another six years to hear his answer . . . but deep down inside she hoped it didn't take that long.
Stopping, Hinata stared up at the moon and smiled softly, I just have to be patient, that's all.
After a few more minutes of walking, Hinata finally decided it was time to head back to bed. She had an early training session with Neji and did not want to be tired for that. Stretching her arms above her head, Hinata started to make her way back . . . but stopped when she heard movement in the branches above. Instantly she activated her Byakugan and gathered chakara in her palms in case she would need to strike at the possible enemy. However upon seeing who exactly it was standing on the branch above her, Hinata dropped her defensives and trembled with nervousness.
"Good e-evening, N-Naruto-kun," she whispered softly, "Can I help you with something?"
Her question was met with silence. Hinata turned her head up so she could look the blond shinobi in the eyes and try to get a feel of what mood he was in. His eyes were downcast and his lip slightly quivered as if wanting to say something, but forcing himself back. After what seemed like hours of silence, Naruto finally spoke, "How are you?"
Hinata smiled, "I'm fine. I've recovered from all of my injuries."
Naruto smiled ever so slightly, "That's good. Listen, Hinata I… I want to talk to you about… no, I need to talk to you about what happened…" Finally he looked at her, blue eyes gazing into pale violet. His fists clenched and unclenched over and over again, his mouth opening and closing. Hinata watched him try to find the words he wanted to tell her, "Even though I do need to talk to you, I can't do it now… or anytime soon."
Hinata frowned ever so slightly.
"There are so many things I want to say and ask you about. But now's not really a good time. I'm heading off for Kumo with Yamato-taicho and Gai-sensei tomorrow and I don't know how long I'll be gone." Naruto paused, taking a moment to gather his thoughts, "When this is all over though and the dust has settled . . . will you be there to hear my response?"
Pale lips spread into a magnificent smile, "Yes. I will be there . . ." she whispered softly.
This time Naruto fully smiled at her, and she could tell it was one of his genuine smiles, "Good. Take care of yourself Hinata. I promise once this is all over; you'll be the first person I talk to!"
"Take care of yourself too Naruto-kun and I know that you'll keep your promises."
The blond ninja turned to go, but suddenly paused for a moment. Before Hinata could ask Naruto what was wrong he was instantly in front of her, his arms wrapping around her in a tight embrace. She didn't have time to react nor respond to the whispered 'Thank you' he voiced in her ear. Then he was gone.
She stood there for a moment before reality finally set into her mind on what exactly had just transpired here. Pale cheeks instantly became red and Hinata finally released her breath, not realizing she had been holding it the entire time. Slowly she brought her hand up to her ear where Naruto had whispered his gratitude to her. Feeling as if a heavy weight had been lifted off of her chest, Hinata made her way back.
I will wait as long as you need me to Naruto-kun, even if it takes forever, because I want to hear what you have to say and I will answer any questions you have. My love for you will never weaken and deep down I hope that maybe someday you will return my feelings, but if not, do not worry, for I will always be there for you.
A/N: Just a little something I came up with after watching the newest Naruto Shippuuden episode this week. Got me a little teary eyed.