Chapter 14: Let's Go
Hinata sat across from her husband at a local eatery. The simple gold band on her finger felt heavy. She wasn't used to wearing her wedding ring. She had only worn it on the day of her wedding, and for about ten months when she and Kiba had lived together. The silence between them was uncomfortable as they ate the food in front of them. What should she say to the husband she had barely seen in over five years? What words could she use to get him to give up his love for her? Her chest tightened and panic started to cause her head to throb wildly. There were no diplomatic words, or civil words, that would appease Kiba's emotions. It is probably because emotional words are what he needed to hear, not the often used, clinical words of a diplomat she was proficient in using. She took a sip of water from her cup, hoping that it would help make the headache go away, yet it didn't help at all. Her nerves still threatened to overcome her.
A moment later, warmth covered her hand. Startled, Hinata's gaze flew to Kiba, who was still using his right hand to eat, and his left hand to hold her right. He did not pay attention to her staring and continued to enjoy his meal as if holding her hand awkwardly from across the table was the most natural thing in the world. The ring on his finger was aged and a tan line hid underneath. Now, she could remember why she had loved him all those years ago: he was fiercely loyal. The thrumming in her skull started to ebb, and she was able to enjoy her meal again. Despite, being right-handed, Hinata continued to eat her salad with her left hand. She had nothing to worry about regarding, Kiba, he was still the same guy she had married all those years ago. Nothing has changed.
"Haven't you taken off your ring?" She asked him, trying to make small-talk. "We were separated these last few years."
"Nope," He replied. "I've been married for about nine years, so I've had the ring on for just as long."
"What about after the time we separated? Why didn't you take it off?"
"Why would I? I was still married, just as I am now." He grunted and continued to dip his undercooked fries into a plop of ketchup. "I might have been 17 years old when I married, you, Hinata, but I knew what I was getting into. I also wanted forever. And when you didn't want a divorce, I took it as a sign that you still wanted to be in this relationship."
"Oh," Hinata couldn't help but answer. "I'm sorry that I didn't keep my ring on, the entire time. I didn't want anyone asking who my husband was, when I thought that you didn't want to see me again."
A pause followed. Neither of them spoke, only the murmurs of the surrounding crowd filled the air between them.
"I like this," Kiba finally spoke, gesturing to the table, and pointedly staring at their joined hands—her ring glistening as if new against his palm. "I like having dinner with someone for once."
"Don't you have dinner with your mother or sister?" Hinata felt confident enough to ask.
"Nope, we're on different shifts at Inuzuka Corp. so family meal times are regulated to holidays, if at all. Besides, you're prettier company." He answered with a charming half-smile. "How about you, how are your father, Hinabi, and Neji?"
"They're doing well. Father is happy that I've finally taken politics seriously, and Hinabi is studying to be a doctor. Neji is still the estates manager for the government, so he's kept busy with keeping track of all the government properties. We're all pretty busy." Hinata rattled on, hoping to stay on a safe topic. "Is working as a career soldier difficult for you? I remember that you said that you preferred peace time."
"Of course I prefer peace, but I still have to do my best to protect everyone from enemy threats. The fact that doing my duties means that I am protecting you and other civilians, I can do it happily." Kiba started to trace her knuckles with his thumb absentmindedly as he spoke.
"That's nice of you to say," The dark-haired diplomat's face flushed at her husband's candid answer. "Oh, and how is Akamaru? He was just a tiny little puppy back then."
"He's a lot bigger now. It's hard to take him anywhere nowadays because of his gigantic size, so he usually helps out with canine training at the base. He knows all of the manoeuvers so the training officers usually like working with him."
"I was wondering why you didn't bring him around. All of the other Inuzuka Corp. soldiers had a dog with them, but you didn't. And, the two of you were inseparable back in your heyday."
"Well, now you know." Kiba continued to smile. He loved hearing Hinata's voice. He didn't care if she was reading the personal journal of a killer like Orochimaru, or if she was talking plainly to him, just as she was now. "Do you still figure skate?"
Panic flashed in Hinata's eyes and Kiba knew that he stepped over the line with the question. But, it was too late to take it back, so he would have to deal with the consequence.
"Um, no, I don't skate anymore," Hinata quipped. It had been so long since she had competed, and she didn't expect Kiba to remember much about her from her teens. "I grew out of it, I guess."
"That's too bad, I thought you were great." Kiba noted simply. He was neither prying nor letting the subject go. "The first time mom pointed you out as my future wife, we watched you win gold at the national championships. I couldn't see your face clearly because of the distance, and our seats were right under the screens, but I could tell that even though I knew nothing about you, you were someone dedicated to doing your best to achieve your goals. I'm glad to say that after I officially met you, everything I thought about you was true."
"That's very kind of you to say, Kiba." Hinata savoured his name on her lips as she had rarely said it these last few years, and she knew that he was a genuinely good man. If it weren't for the darkness she locked within her past, she would have been madly in love with him still and she would have stayed devotedly at his side. But, alas, this wasn't the time nor the place to remember old, first loves. Nor was it time to get hung up on a happily ever after meant to stay in fairy-tales.
"How about me?" He asked her a moment after.
"Pardon?" She asked confused. "What about you?"
"What did you think of me when we first met?" Kiba enquired.
The grey-eyed beauty's mind scrambled in horror at the unexpected question until a long lost memory transported her back to hers and Kiba's clandestine wedding day at her family's vineyard.
Hinata hated her father for forcing her to marry a man—no, boy—she didn't know or had even laid eyes on. Couldn't he see that she wanted to marry for love? Tears filled her eyes, thinking of what she was going to lose that day. That evening, while she was barely seventeen, she would be a married woman. She would have to yield to her husband's wishes, and desires. Hinata hated to think what would happen in their marriage bed, would he force her to have sex with him?
At the frightful thought, she sobbed painfully. She wanted to marry a kind man, who knew and loved her, peace treaty be damned!
"Hey, don't cry. It'll be alright."
Startled at the unexpected voice, Hinata tried to hide her tears behind her hands. After taking a cautious peek at the trespasser, she turned away. She didn't want some day-labourer's son to see her like this.
"I'm not crying," she whispered, trying valiantly to stop her choked sobs.
The boy, for he couldn't be much older than her, placed a comforting hand upon her back.
"There, there," he murmured soothingly. "Don't cry."
When Hinata had found her composure, his hand held hers as he stared up at the clear skies. Without her tears blurring her vision, she was able to see how beautiful the boy was. Actually, in a couple of years, he would be a man, she thought. His bright smile eased her worries; at least for the moment.
"You don't even know why I'm crying." She told him.
"Do you want to talk about it, then?" he replied.
"N-no, I'd rather not," she shut her eyes, hoping that this was just a mixed up dream.
"Do you like dogs?" He had asked her waiting a moment for her to nod her answer. "Come here, Akamaru!" he called loudly.
A tiny puppy ran around the corner of the house and jumped into his master's lap like a rambunctious child promised to be taken to the park. Soft woofs and growls accompanied the young pup as he tugged at the boy's shirt sleeves.
"See, he's a good boy for the most part," the labourer's son explained, wiping dirty, work-worn hands on his dark jeans. "He likes people. Here, you can hold him if you want. He won't bite."
He transferred the tiny bundle of dog into Hinata's awaiting hands. She cooed and petted the small puppy. The dog rumbled pleasantly when she petted his head and neck.
"He was the runt of the litter, like me." The boy smiled sheepishly at his admission. "I've never told anyone this, but that's the reason why I chose him in the first place. I know that one day he'll be stronger than his brothers and sisters. All he needs is someone to teach him to be strong."
Hinata liked listening to the boy's stories: his kindness was greater than the other boys her age. They sat on the porch for hours, unaware of the time passing. The boy told her stories about his adventures with Akamaru and how he wanted to be a soldier one day and die a hero like his father who had fought in the Kirigakure war. As the midafternoon heat started to cool, Hinata could only think that if only she were to marry him instead of the spoiled Inuzuka brat, she'd be a lot happier about the forced love match. The Inuzuka's were known in Konoha for their ill tempers and strength as a clan. How could an ill-tempered child used to getting his way even compare to this sweet labourer's son?
A gust of wind blew across the house's porch where they were seated, and the boy turned his body to shield hers from the frigid air.
"We should get you inside," he ran a hand through thick, unkempt hair before standing up. Akamaru jumped from her hands to stand by his master's feet. "I don't want you to get cold."
Hinata let him take her hand, knowing fully that she would follow him where ever he went.
"Wait," he said before they got through the doors.
She halted, captivated by his toothy grin. He pulled the tips of her black-fire hair and re-arranged it back to the way it was before the gust messed it up. His fingers in her hair were comforting and reminded her of when her mother used to brush her hair each night when she was younger.
"I couldn't let you go to your wedding with your hair messed up like that." He stated. "The groom would kill me."
Tears threatened to fill her eyes again. For a moment she had forgotten that she was wearing the ceremonial robes to befit a princess, and the jewelry to match. Like a lamb being led to slaughter, her first love was leading her to her husband. Maybe the boy was one of the Inuzuka's charge hands sent to find her for the wedding ceremony.
"I wanted to marry for love," she stated, feeling like she had to tell someone what she wanted, because no one else would listen. "I don't want to marry a spoiled brat."
"He also wanted the same thing, you're fiancé, I mean. He wanted the woman he was going to marry to love him. But, duty and protecting the safety of his family comes first. That is why, even though he's a spoiled brat, he's going to try his best not to be one once he marries you."
Before Hinata could confess to the boy that she'd rather marry him, she was pulled away by the dressers and make-up artists. The boy disappeared into the crowd.
An hour later, the ceremony started. The only ones present were the immediate members of each family and the officiator. Hinata's view was obstructed by a veil. She was led up the aisle by her father. She could see her husband's figure through the veil, but couldn't make out his appearance because of the intricate lace designs of the veil's top layer.
The officiator announced the start of the ceremony. Papers were signed and sealed, and rings were exchanged. Hinata's fingers shook as she signed her name on the marriage document and felt the cool piece of jewelry slide against her finger; her ring. There was no going back now. There was no chance for love now, Hyugas didn't get divorced. The final part of the ceremony was where the bride and groom kissed. It was more for tradition's sake than anything else. Everyone present knew that this was a merger, rather than a marriage. Hinata gave one last thought to the kind boy who held her hand as they watched the seemingly endless blue sky together. It would be her saving memory from this moment on.
She shut her eyes as her veil was lifted. She wanted to prolong her fantasy.
"Please open your eyes," a voice asked her.
No, just a moment more, her mind begged.
Then she felt a soft kiss on her forehead instead of her lips.
Her eyes flashed open, and took in her husband's bright, unfathomable eyes. They were the same eyes she had been gazing into all afternoon. Her husband was the labourer's son and the Inuzuka charge hand!
He took her into his embrace.
"I knew I had to marry you when I saw you today. But, I want you to know that even though we are married, I do want to get to know you more before we take this further. I want you to love me. If you don't think that you ever will love me, tell me and I will let you go." He whispered into her ear, his breath caressing her neck. "I don't want to let you go, Hinata, but I will if you ask."
Hinata pulled away from him. Was he serious? What seventeen year old boy with raging hormones would give up sex? Apparently, it would be the same boy who was her husband. Maybe he had fallen in love with her in that short afternoon as she had with him. Maybe, despite the odds, they had a chance at a loving marriage.
"Let's go," he said with a smile, as he held her hand. She smiled back, her young heart full of love, and went with him; not knowing that in the future, pain would cause her to repel his love.
That night, they were separated once more. Her husband had to start his military duties. Hinata wouldn't lay eyes on him again until years later.
"So, have you thought about what you like most about me?" Kiba teased. "Is it my charming way with words, or my chiselled features?"
Hinata shook her head, tamping down a wayward giggle.
"No," She smiled widely. "I like the fact that you love me despite my faults."
Oh no, she had let the proverbial cat out of the bag. During the entire evening, she was trying to lead the topic away from his feelings for her, and here she brings up the touchy subject herself.
His hand instantly grabbed hers from across the table.
"You're not just yanking my chain, are you?" Hope filled his eyes: hope and love. Love she couldn't return without hurting him even more. Maybe, Tsume was right. Kiba deserved to know why she couldn't love him anymore. But, Hinata knew that the time wasn't right, not in public where he would be forced to hide his hatred for her.
"Kiba, why do you think I left you five years ago?" She finally asked him.
"Kiba, please let me go!" Hinata cried, pounding on his chest, physically pushing him away.
"Not until you tell me why you've decided to leave me. You know that I love you, Hinata. You know that I will always protect you. Why do you want to leave me? Am I not good husband to you?" Kiba locked her in place; his arms acting as impenetrable pillars on either side of her head against the wall. He bit back much angrier words threatening to rip from his lips. But, he didn't want to hurt her. She needed to know that he wasn't going to give her up without a fight.
"You promised on our wedding day that you would let me go, if I asked." Tears slipped down her cheeks converging on the underside of her chin. "I'm asking you now to let me go. What more do you want?"
"Why do this so suddenly? I am still a man, Hinata. I feel and I bleed. My wife leaving me without a reason is something I can't deal with." He continued to rage, his fang-like incisors bit into his bottom lip harshly. "Did I hurt you? Was I lacking in anyway? You don't let me touch you anymore as if you're disgusted by me. Have you found a lover, Hinata?" Jealousy poured from him as the hands on either side of her head turned to fists. Yet, they didn't move to strike her.
"No," she screamed, stopping his madness. "I-It has nothing to do with you. You are a wonderful man, a kind, honest man…"
"But," Kiba supplied.
"But, I don't love you anymore!" She lied. She had to do it to survive. She couldn't deal with his feelings for her, not with the guilt ripping her apart from the inside-out. "I realized that what I had with you was a child's first love. It isn't the same as the love a grown woman has for a man."
"I understand," his heart breaking could be seen through his disappointed eyes and his slack jaw. He pulled away from the wall, and turned so she wouldn't see him break.
Oh how Hinata wanted to kiss away the blood and tears comingling on his lips, but the lie had already taken its effect. Kiba had turned away from her, his body tense. This was what she deserved; she never deserved his love in the first place. She would only cause him pain.
"I-If that is the case, then, you are free, Hinata." He said stiffly, lacking all warmth. Without realizing it, she'd grown accustomed to his gentle, soothing voice since their first night together in each other's arms. "I will not burden you with my emotions. I hope that in the future, we can still be friends."
The words stung and hurt more than being run through by a sword. He had somehow lost Hinata's love; what a fool he was. He'd had it all, and lost the most important thing to him.
Months later, Hinata was hired by the government as a diplomat dealing with foreign affairs. Kiba sent signed divorce papers, consenting to the dissolution of their marriage a year later, despite Konoha leaders' adamant protests. But, the papers came back with a short note from Hinata reading:
'Let me be married to you a little longer.'
At her request, he did as asked, wondering if she would let him win her back.
"You left because you didn't want me or love me anymore." He answered; the pain still fresh as it was five years ago. Yet, he chose to smile empathetically, his dark eyes filled with emotion. "But, I understood. You should have been free to choose the man you wanted to love, not force-fed a marriage to me."
Hinata caught the painful tone in his voice. Here she was faced with a dilemma: should she continue to lie to him and feed her guilt, or tell him the truth that she had begged his mother to keep a secret? Did Kiba deserve to be kept in the dark even after these long five years?
So immersed in her thoughts was she, that Hinata didn't notice the waitress take their empty plates away and bring the bill. The parked cars along the street blurred into the painful memories of her past, reminding her that if she was selfish, she would only continue to hurt him, a lot more than he was hurting now. She would never tell him the secret, she would rather die than cause him any more pain.
The only love you deserve is, Naruto. She said to herself. She wouldn't never be worthy of the unconditional love that Kiba offered. She was only worth the painful and torturous unrequited love she had with Naruto.
"Let's go," Kiba rose from his seat and placed the bill folder on the table.
"Um," Hinata snapped out of her reverie and felt around inside her purse for her wallet. "What's my half?"
"Don't worry about it. It's my treat this time. Next time you can pay if you want." He replied, offering a hand to help her up from her chair. She accepted. "We can go over Orochimaru's journal again, or call it a night, your choice."
She didn't want the evening to end yet. She knew that she was torturing herself by spending more time with her husband, but, she liked his company.
"Let's finish off the report and give it to Ino, Sakura, and Kurenai for analysis." She answered. "The sooner we find some leads on this case, the better. I really want to find Miss Anko. I think that Kakashi-sensei is madly in love with her."
As they exited the restaurant, the initial awkwardness between them returned. The tension became more palpable when they'd entered the limousine to take them back to the government block to the day-time offices. Although the Res. HQ offices at Naruto's home were usually used as a base during missions, Hinata found that since her secret wedding was announced earlier that week, the easiest place to work was at the gated government offices. She didn't want to have to deflect the other resistance member's questions about her nuptials nine years ago.
The couple stayed silent as they each gazed out of the window, deep in thought, wondering when to break the awkward, and stifling silence. The rush-hour traffic would guarantee a long, anxious car ride if the tension wasn't resolved.
"You don't have to be uncomfortable around me, you know." He told her, keeping his eyes trained out the window. "You don't have to prove anything to me."
"I know," Hinata wrung her hands nervously. "But, I don't know what you want from me and it makes me nervous."
Kiba finally turned to her, "I think you know exactly what I want from you, Hinata."
"I don't think that we should go in that direction, Kiba, what we had is in the past and it can never be recovered."
"Don't get me wrong," He added curtly, "I do care for you. But, I am not the same boy I was back then who openly gives away his heart. I know that as strong of a soldier I am, I still have a heart that makes me fallible and human. You have to know that when you left me all those years ago, I almost didn't survive. A man without a heart can't function properly: even as a soldier. When a solider loses his humanity, his kindness, and his ability to love, he isn't a soldier whose main objective is to protect those he cares about. He becomes a killer with no moral compass."
"Kiba, I—" Hinata had to turn away from his intense stare. A part of her wanted to stand firm and face his pain, she deserved his hatred. But, when he offered only understanding and forgiveness, regret threatened to swallow her whole.
"You don't have to apologize." He added quickly. "It wasn't your fault you didn't feel the same for me as I did for you. When I got your note to tell me that you didn't want a divorce, it gave me hope. I knew that you had changed as much as I, but essentially, we're still the same people we were back then. The only difference is that we're a bit more bruised and beaten up from the stuff life has thrown at us. I know that we can't continue what we had in the past, but I really would like to give this marriage an actual chance at being a loving one."
Like Naruto, Kiba had a way with words. Her unrequited love for the president made her feel like fool, when she knew full well that he was in love with Sakura Haruno, yet she still had hope that one day he would see her as something special. The hope that filled Kiba's face now was the same one she'd imagined on herself whenever she was with Naruto. Her admiration for his way to create peace and understanding within the nation was legendary, and she hope that one day she could be as captivating as him.
"I still love Naruto," she stated, trying to seem uncaring. She said it as a reminder of her sins, to open up her own wounds anew. "I can't give up on him. He is the only man who sees me and notices what I've done. So, I want you to give up on me, Kiba. I'm not worth it. I don't deserve the love that you're offering. I'm happily content with the love I have."
Lies, her mind screamed. Lies!
Kiba shifted in his seat to face her. Hinata did the same, and squared her shoulders to see her husband's reaction.
"Kiss me," he demanded, almost viciously. "Kiss me, Hinata, and then tell me that you still love him. Kiss me and then tell me that you are undeserving and content with being someone's future sloppy seconds. You know that he's in love with Sakura. You know that there is no place for you in his heart. Why torture and hurt yourself when you know the facts. Why do you find me so repulsive that you shake in fear every time I touch you?"
"No, that's not true, I don't find you repulsive." she replied. "But, kissing you won't change anything and you know it!"
"None of the kisses we've shared in the past were a lie, every single one was true. So, if you really feel the way that you say that you feel, I would sense the truth in your kiss." Kiba grinned devastatingly, when she affirmed that he didn't repulse her, thus taking cheap shots at her crumbling control.
"I don't want to," she shook. Her guilt-ridden conscience wouldn't be able to take it. "Let's stop such childish games, Kiba. We're adults now, not kids who can't control themselves."
Kiba replied by pulling her in and kissing the tiny dimple near her mouth. Hinata gasped and stared wide-eyed at Kiba's. Just like that, the feelings she'd been trying to hide and forget all these years came flooding back.
"I'm in perfect control, wife. That was a warning shot," Kiba murmured as his breath against her ear sent intoxicating ripples down her spine. The smell of him filled her senses at his nearness. "The next one's going to hit its mark."
She couldn't kiss her husband and not tell him her sins. She couldn't live with the fact that he thought that she was a perfect wife when in fact, she had failed him. She didn't warrant his love. What she deserved is the pain of loving another without it ever being returned. She merited only the illusion of love, not the actual thing that her husband was offering her. But her heart was repressed, and her self-restraint spread already too thin.
"I love you, Kiba." She whispered although his sensitive hearing picked up her words.
Kiba gasped in shock, reeling. Could it be that he heard her wrong? "Say that again. Please say it again."
"I love you. I always had. Five years ago, nine years ago, always," She wiped angrily at her eyes, the release from one lie soothed her captured soul. But, she was angry for being so weak. In the restaurant, she had promised to die first before telling him anything, yet, now she was spilling her guts.
"That's all I've ever wanted to hear." Kiba took off his seatbelt so he could be closer to her. The limousine was stuck in rush hour traffic anyway. They weren't going to be moving for a while. Then realization hit him. "Then why did you leave?"
The fear in Hinata's eyes halted his breath. The pain-stricken expression on her face filled him with dread.
"Because I was going to hurt you and the pain would have killed you."
"What are you talking about?" Kiba urged, running his palms over her shivering shoulders. "Please tell me."
"You won't love me anymore once I tell you." She told him, eying him under her tear-soaked lashes. "Please allow my selfishness, husband."
Hinata placed a hand on his jaw and led his lips to hers. It was the sweetest and most pain-filled kiss he'd ever experienced. He felt no choice but to succumb. He'd waited for so long to have her in his arms again, and despite the fact that he had a feeling her words rang true, he couldn't help himself. He banished all troubled thoughts and brought her closer to him. He could never hate Hinata. He refused to believe that what she was going to tell him will change that fact.
Kiba pressed a hand against her nape and allowed his fingers to tangle in her hair. He could feel the desperation in her kiss, the love that he had owned years before escaped from her lips to electrify his. The dull ache in his chest intensified. He would never let her go again. He would never let her leave him, not when she loved him, not when he still loved her. A shiver ran down to his toes when her tongue touched his fang-like incisor. She moaned in protest when he was forced to pull her away.
After coming apart, they stared at each other, breathing deeply. He was wild with her smell and taste overwhelming his heightened senses. If he didn't end the kiss now, he would have taken her in the car. He didn't want do that to his wife, though, she needed his respect. They had to end this now or he was going to lose his mind.
"Tell me the truth, Hinata." His voice was gruff with passion as she bit her swollen lips, tempting him with another taste. "I don't think I can purge my feelings if we go on like this."
Hinata patted the seat beside her. He followed her silent instruction and sat nearest the window.
She gazed upon his conflicted countenance. His eyes were filled with desire for her, but his brows were furrowed deeply as if readying himself for the words that would turn his world upside-down.
"About a few months after we moved in together, I got pregnant." She stated as if she was doing nothing more than reading the newspaper aloud. She was using what he'd called her "diplomat voice".
Instantly, the desire in his eyes turned to alertness and then to horror, yet he stayed silent, waiting for her to continue.
"I didn't know that I was pregnant until almost two months after and you had gone on that mission trip in Otogakure for three weeks. When the doctor confirmed it, I was so excited to tell you, you know. And, when you called me every night, I had to use all my will power not to tell you about the baby. I wanted to see your reaction in person, so I kept it a secret. I didn't tell anyone because I wanted you to know first." Hinata bowed her head in shame. "I was so happy then."
"What happened to our baby?" He gently asked her, carefully hiding his fear and anger at her not telling him. She needed his comfort now, and he would never hurt her, despite what she thought she deserved.
"I was going to tell you the day that you got home, but you were exhausted." She continued. "So, I decided to make an elaborate dinner the next night and make it a sort of surprise celebration."
"But, that was the day that you…" Kiba trailed off, his dark eyes scrutinizing her pale face.
"I was so excited, I wasn't paying attention. I should have been more careful."
Kiba tugged her into his arms and she cried bitterly on his shoulder. Her lips moved against his neck as she continued to tell her story.
He remembered that day: it was the same day he kept re-living over and over again, hoping for an answer. He knew that something had happened, but the mystery was unsolvable. She had been so positively upbeat in the morning, she'd made him breakfast in bed, and they had made love until he was called to Inuzuka Corp. She had hinted that dinner would be even better than breakfast, and had told him with a saucy half-smile that she had missed him the past three weeks and couldn't wait to show him how much. But, when he got home from work that day there was no dinner waiting for him and Hinata had lost the glow she had earlier. She had rebuffed all of his touches and had gone to bed in the guest room telling him that she had a terrible headache and wouldn't want to keep him up in case she had to get up in the middle of the night. He had heard her crying and sobbing in the night, but didn't enter her room. The fact that she didn't want him to touch her hurt him.
"You lost the baby," he stated, feeling her tears collect on his shirt. "You should have told me."
"I-I was so s-stupid." She sobbed. "I wanted to get to the apartment to start dinner right away, but the elevator was taking too long. So, I took the stairs, it was only a few flights. But, I guess I was going too fast and I slipped, falling forward. My hands were dead-weights at my sides because of the shopping bags and it just happened."
"Damn it, Hinata, you should have called me. You could have been hurt; I would have helped you. I would have been there for you." Frustration filled him because he should have been there at her side. He should have known he was going to be a father. He shouldn't have found out about the whole thing five years after the fact.
"I was so worried about the baby that I dropped the bags and called your mother. She came right away and brought me to the hospital." Hinata continued to cry as if experiencing the loss once again. "At the hospital, I-I went to the b-bathroom…"
And I had a miscarriage
She couldn't finish her sentence but Kiba understood and held her tighter against him, desperate to keep her in one piece.
"It's my fault. I'm so stupid." She wept. He could feel her tears slide down his neck.
"It's not your fault," he told her. "It was an accident."
"I shouldn't have taken the stairs. I knew I was pregnant, but I wanted to…" Hinata blubbered, gasping in her grief. "I should have been careful. I can't be a mother, Kiba. I'll be a terrible mother."
"No," He said, brushing her hair with a shaky hand. "You will be a great mother. You will have beautiful children. They will love you and I will love you."
"Please hate me, Kiba, please say that you never want to see me again." She begged him.
"Never," He growled fiercely. "I will never let you go, Hinata. For five years I've gone over that day repeatedly, trying to see where I'd gone wrong; wondering what could have happened. In the morning we'd made love, and in the evening you wouldn't let me touch you. I didn't understand it. Then the three months after that, we barely spoke until you said you didn't love me anymore."
"I can't have the life you're offering." She tried to push him away now as if realizing that she had been clinging on to him.
"Please," He pleaded. "Don't punish yourself anymore. You're all I've ever wanted. By keeping yourself from me, I've been suffering. Please stop punishing me, too."
Kiba knew that he had to be forgiving. The woman in his arms was a hateful word away from losing her mind. He hated the feeling of helplessness that consumed him. He should have been there; he should have done something to keep her from hurting herself like this. As her husband he was supposed to protect her and instead of trying to find out what went wrong, he had pitied and hated himself for losing her.
"Shh," he whispered into her ear. "I'll always be here, Hinata. You won't have to be alone in this anymore."
"How could you still care when I've lost your child?"
"It wasn't my child, it was ours. We lost our child, but, I am thankful that I still have my wife."
"I was irresponsible, I wasn't thinking."
"What happened was an accident." He said firmly. "You didn't fall on purpose. You didn't want to lose the baby."
"But, I should have taken the elevator." Her eyes were still in the past, re-living the moments leading up to the miscarriage.
"Stuff happens, Hinata. You can't lock yourself up in your room all day because you're afraid to get hurt. One mistake can't define who you are." He refused to ease his hold, she needed him now more than ever, and he wasn't going to abandon her.
There was beep on the panel beside them.
"Mr. Inuzuka, do you want me to drive around the property one more time?" The driver asked. "I've gone around the government block three times already."
"Thanks, Spencer." Kiba replied. "I've changed my mind about going to the president's offices. Mrs. Inuzuka and I will be going home."
"Yes sir," was the quick reply and another beep ended the call.
Hinata could feel the car turning now, she hadn't realized how much time had passed nor did she realize the fact that they'd already reach her offices.
"You can drop me off at my apartment," she said pulling away from his embrace. "I don't want to burden you. Now that you know my sins against you, you don't have to look at me as if I'm the perfect wife for you. As a Hyuga, I can't divorce you, but, I'm sure that we can file for an annulment despite the fact that we've consummated the marriage. We were only seventeen when we married. Besides, I can finish off the report on my own, and you don't have to see me again." She told him using her cool and calm diplomat voice.
Kiba only stared at her, his features unreadable.
"Is this what you want, Hinata?" He asked her. His voice was so low she swore the question came out as a growl.
"It's not about what I want, Kiba. I failed you as your wife. I didn't tell you that you were a father, I lost your child, and I abandoned you. I know that I am no longer welcomed as a guest in your home."
"Answer me." He took a deep breath to keep his frustration at bay. "What do you want?"
"I don't know what you're asking." Hinata's lip shook.
Kiba wasted no time clarifying the question. He was tired of this back and forth. He wanted to stay with his wife, and she admitted she loved him. How could she now expect that she would be living apart from him?
"Do you want to stay with me? Do you want me to be your husband? Do you want to give our marriage a chance at being a loving one? Do you want to have a family with me?" He asked her. "Hinata, tell me what you want?"
"But, I don't…" She trailed off hanging her head in shame. "I'm not worth it."
"To me, you're worth everything, Hinata." He murmured, "Absolutely everything. I don't care if you think that you don't deserve the life I am offering you, I still love you. I still want to grow old with you, and have children with you. But, if you don't want to have children, we can raise a pack of dogs. I've fought for so long and I want you to be my wife. Forget the past, Hinata, and come with me to the future."
The diplomat's fists tightened in her lap. Her grey-eyes leaked out torrents of tears. Her heart threatened to rupture at his healing words. Only in Kiba's eyes was she worth everything.
"I-I want…" Her voice shook, it was her secret dream; a dream she still hoped in regardless of the facts. "I-I still w-want to b-be…" she trailed off, her sobs made her words almost inaudible as she threw her arms around his neck and her lips moved against his clavicle, forming the words that lifted him to paradise.
"What did you say?" Kiba's own voice started to shake, could he have heard her right?
She moved so that her lips were only a few inches away from his ear to repeat the words she had stated earlier.
"I've only wanted to be the mother of your children, husband." Her voice whispered in his ear.
"Wife, tell me what you want?" He asked against her ear, his breath ragged.
"I want all that you have to offer, Kiba. I want your love, your children, and I want to be part of your future. I won't fail you again."
"You've never failed me, Hinata, and you could never fail me." He breathed her in, letting her scent permeate into his memory.
When the car stopped at their house, he simply took her hand and grinned his deliriously joyous grin and stated. "Let's go."
Hello everyone! This chapter is dedicated to all of the Kiba X Hinata fans. I've already started writing chapter 15, but, I wanted to write a romantic/dramatic chapter. This might not seem as if it's an important chapter to the plot, and you might be right, but I wanted to write this for myself. So, please let the birthday girl be selfish for once, and forgive my indulgence. Please tell me what you think of this chapter. I was really happy with the outcome of this chapter, but I can understand how some readers won't be (Naruto X Hinata fans, for example). Whatever your thoughts, I will respect them. Thank you for reading my work. The next chapter will have Anko back in the picture, as well as the ever-sexily written (at least according to reader, SinTotchi), Gaara. And, Sai and Temari will be making an appearance along with some new characters from the original series.
If you really like my writing style please introduce my fanfictions to others, if possible, as I want to get a broader reader audience. As always, I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments, and would like to get more critical reviews. I want to get better as a writer, so any pointers (ie. critiques regarding plot holes, grammar, spelling, etc) will help. That being said, please be kind. I've only had one time to edit (one read-over) the chapters I've written before posting, so unless it's a consistent problem, please be kind.
I hope that everyone is enjoying the story thus far, and please, please, please stay tuned!
Oh, and there's one more thing:
An anonymous Guest asked if Sakura and Sasuke will end up together in this fanfiction. The answer is still up in the air, but for sure they will meet up with each other and have a Spencer Tracy-vs.-Katherine Hepburn-esque tete a tete (French translation: head to head). I hope this answer piques your curiosity, Guest.