Portrait of Hinata

~Chapter 5~

Your love is a symphony
All around me
Running through me
Your love is a melody
Underneath me
Running to me

(Your Love is a Song by Switchfoot)


"How do you feel?" Dr. Tsunade asked her patient as he reclined back on the couch. "Is it working yet?"

Itachi's eyes snapped open, "No, it is not."

Damn, Tsunade swore in her mind, she had been putting people under in trances for over twenty years and he was the hardest by far to get under. They had been trying for well over an hour with no results so far.

What the hell is wrong with him? She wondered as she looked over and saw Sasuke was twitching in a chair with his mouth open as he went under over twenty minutes ago. And Mikoto went under almost immediately since she had been through this a few times already so her body was prepared for it.

Tsunade looked over at the two and had no clue where they were going back to; hypnotic trances were different for each individual. She had an idea where Mikoto was going, probably back to the time of the "great tragedy," to try to divert it if possible.

Regarding Sasuke she shrugged, seeing he was one truly fucked-up individual with a giant chip on his shoulder, he could end up almost anywhere. Personally she didn't care where he went; he wasn't exactly her favorite person right now.

She bit back a grin knowing that she had performed a group hypnosis on them rather than an individual one so he had ended out going under without even being aware what was happening to him.

From the couch she heard Itachi release a long weary sigh as he began to get up, "I am leaving."

"Wait," Tsunade pleaded, knowing she had one more trick up her sleeve to get him under. She had never had to use it before, but he was a tough one.

"There is one more thing I can do to get you under," she told him and waited for him to lie back again and close his eyes. This little skill came from her family tradition back when they had all been ninjas. She had always wanted to try it to see what would happen.

The blonde doctor took a deep breath before performing several hand signs very rapidly and spoke the name of an old family jutsu.

Her eyes closed when she spoke the last word and she hoped it worked. If he couldn't go under with this then he was indeed hopeless and hypnotherapy treatment just would not be possible with him.

When she opened her eyes she saw he wasn't only in a trance, but for a moment her heart skipped a beat when she thought she might have killed him.

Rushing over to his side she saw he was still alive but he was completely out almost to the point of being unconscious.

"Damn," she said out loud, she had been hoping to be able to speak to him while he was under and find out about what it was like in 1910. Most of the time she could speak to her patients while they were within their trance and it was almost like her patients were speaking on two phones. In their mind they could speak to her and in their collective consciousness that seemed like time travel to them they could speak to others.

Tsunade found it all extremely fascinating and she felt a little let down that she didn't get to hear some of his thoughts. She looked at Itachi as he breathed rather shallowly and realized even if he were partially awake he probably wouldn't tell her anything…he was definitely a silent one.

"Your boys are definitely handfuls, Mikoto," she mused out loud to her friend in her trance.

Ten minutes later, Tsunade felt a little bored and she decided it was time to check on Sasuke and Mikoto.

She walked over and stood next to Sasuke and leaned down by him and spoke in a low voice, "Sasuke, how are you doing?"

"I am training with Nii-san right now and tomorrow I am starting the academy. Now go away…you are starting to annoy me." Sasuke told her in a monotone voice that made zombies sound animated.

A slow smile came over her face as she leaned toward him, "So, I am annoying you, huh?" She asked him.

"Yes, you are." Sasuke told her still under a trance.

"Sasuke, I need you to do something for me while you are back there, okay?" Tsunade asked him seriously.

"What?"

"Whenever you introduce yourself to anyone, I want you to say: I am Sasuke Uchiha and I am a total douche bag," Tsunade told him and bit back a smile.

"Okay, now leave me alone." Sasuke mumbled.

Tsunade had to test it out, "Hi, I am Dr. Tsunade, who are you?"

Automatically Sasuke replied, "I am Sasuke Uchiha and I am a total douche bag."

Yes, you are Sasuke, Tsunade thought and realized that sometimes she had the greatest job ever as she looked down at the young man in a trance.

"That will teach you to mess with me, you little punk…ha ha."

oooOOOooo

Itachi opened his eyes and was a little unnerved to find himself alone on a dirt road in the middle of a very sunny day. Earlier when he left his office and went to the appointment with his mother it had been snowing out and icy cold.

He closed his eyes against the bright sun and took a moment to get his bearings. Opening his eyes again slowly he saw he was wearing tweed slacks that were sort of itchy with a white starched shirt and lifting his hand to his hair he could feel that it was cut short and his bangs were parted in the middle.

In his hand he held a sketchbook, so it seemed his love of drawing went way back in his history.

As he walked down the road it was strange because he knew exactly where he was going and yet at the same time he also knew his modern self. It was an odd dichotomy to have two different mindsets in the same person, but he found he was growing more comfortable with it with every minute he was there.

One thing that stood out remarkably clear to him was it all felt so real, like he had travelled back in time. It didn't feel like a buried subconscious memory at all.

The air was pure and clean and he could tell by the landscape that he was in Union (It didn't become Union City until 1925). He knew in the modern world it was very industrialized and populated but for now it was a sparsely populated but obviously growing area. He could tell by the brick buildings going up in the distance.

His family had moved to Union from Japan and were just getting established. His father bought a small photo shop and the rest of them helped out in it and his mother started taking in laundry to help out financially.

Sasuke was away at university and Itachi had already graduated from a University in Japan and was currently painting portraits in a small studio next to his father's shop.

Before they left Japan they had been well to do and had a rich clan history but wars and other economic problems had stripped them of their wealth and they ended up moving the family to America. Including their Uncle Madara who still retained some of his wealth and had bought a big house in New York City.

Looking ahead of him, he knew he was headed toward a pond and had waited until afternoon time so he could draw the sunlight on the water and the ornate bridge that went over a small creek that flowed into the pond.

He stopped and listened closely when the sound of a scream came from a grove of apple trees near the pond. The hair stood up on the back of his neck before he immediately began running toward the sound.

oooOOOooo

When he reached the grove of trees there was no one there and he looked around the area a little desperately. He knew he had definitely heard a scream.

"We are up here," came a nervous young voice hanging perilously near the edge of a long tree limb.

It only took him a minute to realize the young girl with dark hair hanging from the branch was Hanabi. His eyes immediately glanced over closer to the tree trunk and he saw her dark hair and white dress. She was clinging desperately to the tree branch as it had started to break while she had been trying to reach her sister.

It was Hinata.

"The branch is…breaking," Hinata uttered in a terrified voice as she wrapped herself even tighter around the branch.

"Well, quit moving around, Hinata." Hanabi complained from the edge of the branch, she was a veteran at getting into jams so she wasn't as scared as her more cautious older sister was.

"Stay right there, both of you," Itachi ordered them as he began climbing up the tree. A quick glance above him showed him Hinata had very trim looking ankles and the branch was definitely groaning and splitting under their collective weight. He would not be able to step on it without putting them in even greater danger.

He saw there was a branch above them and rapidly climbed up to it. Once he was above them he got on his hands and knees and carefully went out near the edge.

Hooking his legs around the tree branch he hung upside down and reached one of his hands out to Hanabi.

"Take my hand," he told her calmly.

With both of her arms and legs wrapped tightly around the tree branch she looked at his outstretched hand and position on the tree limb skeptically.

"Are you sure you can hold on to me like that?"

Scared out of her wits as the tree limb snapped slightly beneath her, Hinata yelled urgently, "Hanabi, don't argue with him just take his hand!"

Hanabi eyes squinted closed as she stretched out one of her hands and felt his close tightly around it.

"Good girl, now let go of the tree branch," Itachi said as he reached out his other hand to her.

Nervously she let go and gave her other hand to him.

"Okay, hold on tight, I am going to swing you up here with me."

"You are going to do what!" Hanabi yelled but started to scream when she felt herself acrobatically flying through the air and then in the next instant she felt his arms around her as she was standing next to him on the tree branch.

Her eyes were huge as she stared up at her rescuer. "That was amazing!"

Below them an ominous cracking noise pierced the air.

Hinata gasped as the tree branch she was clinging to dipped slightly lower. Itachi quickly set Hanabi on the other side of him and guided her to the safety of the tree trunk.

He looked down below him and saw Hinata's face was deathly pale and her eyes were honed onto him like a lifeline.

"Don't worry," he told her calmly as he hooked his legs around the tree and hung upside down again just like he did earlier with Hanabi.

"Alright, take my hand," Itachi told her as his hand reached out to her.

Her eyes were locked onto his as she unhesitatingly released her death grip off of the tree and lifted her hand toward his.

Itachi grasped it and the touch of her hand against his felt like he was coming home. The two of them stared at each other in wonder and for a moment forgot the perilous situation they were in.

Itachi's voice was slightly rough as he asked her to take his other hand when he held it out to her.

Hinata did and then closed her eyes shut as she had seen what he did with Hanabi before and knew that was what he planned to do with her now.

Pure adrenaline pumped through her veins as she felt his strong arms swing her body around and launch her up in the air. It all happened so fast she wasn't even frightened and for some reason she had absolute trust in him.

Before she even knew it she was up safe on the tree branch next to him and his arms were around her. Somehow it felt perfectly natural for her to lean her face against his warm chest, even though he was a stranger.

How long she stayed in his arms she had no idea, it could have been a few seconds or a few minutes, time seemed to stop for her altogether as only he existed to her.

Itachi pulled back a little and his gaze met hers as an avalanche of feelings tumbled through both of them as they both felt like they knew the other.

"Are you coming down sometime soon or are you just going to stare at each other?" Hanabi's irritated voice said as it floated up to them breaking them out of the spell they were under.

Hinata blushed and looked away; she never acted this way with a man before in her life. In the neighborhood, she was known for her exceptional manners. An easy and charming smile slid over her face making Itachi's breath catch in his throat as it reminded him of the vision he had had of her ice skating.

"Thank you for saving us, I am Hinata Hyuuga and that is my younger sister Hanabi."

Pulling himself together, Itachi looked at her with a composed smile before he nodded his head slightly in respect before her.

"I am Itachi Uchiha and I am glad to have been of some assistance to you," he told her politely and reached out his hand to her and began leading her toward the tree trunk.

"Careful now," he said when she almost lost her footing.

"I'm alright now, Mr. Uchiha," she told him a little breathlessly as she made the mistake of looking down at the ground. Her hand had a death grip around his as he began helping her climb down.

As she descended down toward the ground she had no idea how high she had climbed up in the tree because when she saw her sister was in trouble she just immediately raced up the tree to go help her.

When her feet reached the ground again she felt like kissing it, but instead her eyes rounded on her sister in exasperation.

"Hanabi, thank Mr. Uchiha for risking his life to save ours."

The smile on Hanabi's face was completely unrepentant as she looked up at their exceptionally good looking savior.

"Please call me Itachi," he offered.

"Thanks Itachi, that trick you did with pulling us up made me feel like I was in the circus," she told him with an impish laugh as she picked up her ball began running ahead of them. "It was fun."

Hinata was slightly embarrassed at her younger sister's display of bad manners. Her eyes were apologetic as she looked at him.

"Don't worry about it Miss Hyuuga, I have a younger brother as well and he is the reason for my skill at helping people down from trees."

Hinata giggled at the long suffering look on his face, "Please call me Hinata."

Itachi nodded quietly and before he could stop it from happening, a smile formed on his face as he looked at her. He couldn't remember acting this idiotic around anyone else before in his life.

To cover up his lack of composure, he asked, "Why did your sister climb out to the edge of the tree limb in the first place?"

Hanabi had the grace to look slightly embarrassed as she held up her red ball, "it got stuck in the tree, so I had to go get it."

Itachi shot her a look telling her that was an idiotic thing to have done. Hanabi just shrugged nonchalantly completely uncaring that she had put her sister's life at risk as well as her own, "Oh well, I'm starving - I am going to head home. See you later, Hinata."

"Thanks again, Itachi," she said with an energetic wave as she began running down the road.

Hinata just shook her head at her sister's wildness and suddenly a blush came over her face when she realized she was now all alone with him.

Trying to hide her feelings of awkwardness she walked over toward a tree and picked up her sketch pad and the light jacket she had brought with her.

When she stood up again she noticed he had a sketch pad with him as well.

Itachi watched her as she stood under the tree with the sunlight coming through the branches and felt an unbearable sadness pass through him at the realization that in less than six months she would be dead.

He knew the date today as if it was something burned into his memory; it was June 29th, 1910.

His eyes drifted over her long hair, porcelain skin and soft white cotton dress with a bright blue bow around her waist and knew he had to find a way to save her and her sister.

"How long have you been drawing?" He heard her ask him softly as she came up to him.

"For most of my life," he answered automatically as his eyes still watched her closely.

"I bet you must be pretty good, I just started drawing last year when I travelled to Europe and fell in love with the architecture over there," she shared a little wistfully. She opened up her sketchbook and showed him some of her work and he saw she came here to draw the same thing he did.

"As you can see, I started drawing the bridge, I wanted to catch the sunlight as it flowed over the bridge at just the right angle, but my sister followed me here and well…you know what happened next," Hinata explained with a cute shrug of her shoulders.

Itachi sat down on the ground and opened up his sketchbook, "I came here to draw the same thing." His eyes began to shift over the bridge and he began to move his piece of charcoal over the pad.

Hinata sat down next to him as he hoped she would and began to watch him draw the peaceful scene in front of them. A smile spread over her face when she saw he had drawn her standing on the bridge staring off over the railing.

Her eyes began to glow and she bit her lip shyly when she saw how astonishingly lovely he had made her. She knew her looks were fairly average and most people only flattered her because she was an heiress to a huge fortune. However, she didn't think he was trying to flatter her when he drew her like that, something about the way he kept looking at her made her feel he really thought she was beautiful.

"Do you think I could have that drawing when you are finished, Itachi?"

"Of course," he told her as he put the finishing touches on it and signed his initials in the corner. He tore it out of his book carefully and handed it to her.

Hinata almost sighed in joy as she placed it inside of her sketchbook so it wouldn't get ruined. It was a lovely drawing and he was a very talented man. This was something she was going to cherish.

Her heart began to beat wildly as she could tell he was getting ready to leave to go home and she didn't want him to.

"Um Itachi…would you like to have dinner at my house?" Hinata asked with hopeful looking eyes before she added for good measure. "I am sure my father would like to thank you for rescuing me and my sister."

Itachi wanted nothing more than to go with her to her house, not only to spend more time with her but to meet her family.

"I would be honored to meet your family," he told her as he held out his hand and helped her up…

Author's Note: I had to start this chapter right away because I was so excited to show how they met. I am not sure when I will be able to update again, but I am definitely going to try to finish this story before the end of the year. Thanks to everyone who left me a review on the last chapter and for all of the story alerts. This quick update is for all of you:)

I hope this chapter answers some questions or perhaps it will create new ones. As you can seen I sent Mikoto and Sasuke out on their own journeys in the past to try to fix some problems in their family's tragic past. Regarding Itachi, he either went back in time or he is seeing long buried memories from a previous life…I am not going to tell you which one it is lol…thanks for reading!