"Neji! Can't one of your friends come over and do this instead?" Hinata questioned. Her and her little sister Hanabi were standing in the soccer goal in their front lawn. They were both very unfamiliar to playing the game, they've only been there to watch Neji play. He was kicking or 'dribbling' the soccer ball by himself, as if he were showing off.
"No. Now just try and block the ball." Neji told his younger sister. Hinata gulped. The youngest one Hanabi, who was only eight, tugged on her older sister's sleeve.
"Is Neji going to hurt us?" Hanabi asked cutely. Hinata smiled slightly and shook her head.
"I don't think so." Hinata assured her, even though she herself was questioning it as well. "Y-You won't hurt us, right?" Hinata asked.
Neji kept dribbling with ease. "Not if you block the ball." He told them. Hinata felt her stomach flip as well as her knees buckle. She hadn't even graduated from middle school yet and she could be dying here today.
"Hinata," Hanabi said quietly, "I'm scared."
Hinata attempted to keep on a smile, to keep her little sister from being frightened. "Don't worry. Just keep you hands up like this." Hinata placed both her hands in front of her face. Hanabi watched and mimicked her unsurely afterwards.
"Like this?" Hanabi checked. Hinata looked downwards and nodded.
"I'm going." Neji warned them, his tone sounding bored. Hinata put her arms up and braced herself. She looked at Hanabi who was doing the same except her eyes were closed. Hinata took one last look and Neji and nodded. She watched as Neji placed the ball on the ground and stared at the goal. He was analyzing where he wanted to ball to go and how to kick so the ball went there. After a few minutes he started to back up. He took one last look at the net before charging towards the ball.
As he was seconds away from kicking it, Hinata closed her eyes. Praying it would go in without hitting her or her little sister. She heard Neji making contact with the ball and could feel the ball moving closer and closer. It was only seconds but it felt like forever. After a while Hinata heard the ball make another impact, but it wasn't with her. She assumed it was the net and breathed a sigh of relief.
Just then she heard a small whimper from beside her.
"Ow…" It cried in pain.
"Shit!" She heard Neji curse. Hinata's eyes immediately shot open to see Neji running towards her. She looked to the left of her and saw Hanabi sprawled out on the ground like a squashed bug. Her hands covering her face. Hinata immediately fell to the floor besides her sister.
"Hanabi! Are you okay?" She asked frantically, as Neji made his way to the other side of her. "Hanabi."
"It hurts…" She moaned in distress.
"What hurts?" Hinata inquired. "What hurts Hanabi? Neji! This is bad!"
"Just calm down Hinata!" He hushed his younger sister. "Hanabi, what's wrong?"
"My head," Hanabi whined. "It really hurts!" Neji slowly moved Hanabi's hands from across her face to reveal a black eye and a bloody nose.
"Damn it." Neji cursed, examining Hanabi's condition. Hinata gasped at the sight. Her little sister's face was completely covered in blood. "Wait here with her." Neji orded, making his way inside the house, quickly.
"Oh my god," Hinata continued to gasp. "H-Hanabi, you're going to be okay, okay?" Hinata said, not sure who she was really trying to convince, Hanabi or herself. The littlest one continued to moan in pain, causing Hinata's heart-rate to rapidly increase. Every few seconds she would look over at the door for Neji, but he wasn't there.
"H-Hinata…" Hanabi forced out. Hinata gripped Hanabi's small hand into her own.
"I'm h-here Hanabi, I'm here." Hinata let her know.
"Don't… leave me 'kay?" Hanabi said, trying to forced a tiny smile. Hinata smiled back at her sister, but it was still noticeable to how frightened she truly was. Hinata nodded, not wanting to say another word. The sound of a door opening and closing rang in Hinata's ears. She turned to see both their mother and father running frantically towards the door.
"Hanabi sweetheart!" Their mother cried. "Hanabi!"
"Hanabi!" Their father joined in as well. Hinata slowly removed herself from the scene as their parents took her place. She glanced over at the door to see Neji standing there alone. She walked over to him.
"So, how much trouble do you think I'm in?" Neji questioned aloud as Hinata approached him. Hinata looked back at the scene of her sister bleeding on the ground. She turned back to him and shrugged childishly.
"It was an accident, right?" Hinata tried to relieve.
"You think Dad cares whether it was an accident or not?" Neji retorted, causing Hinata to feel sheepish. Their father was always harder on the two of them than on Hanabi. But, to Neji, he was definitely the most difficult with. Hinata thinks it's because he's the eldest, while Neji assumes it's because their dad is just out to get him.
"Well, I think you did the right thing." Hinata said hopefully. Neji turned to her and let a small smile show. He then placed his hand on her head causing to her blink.
"Thanks Hinata." He said, before turning around to let himself inside.
Hinata briefly watched Neji leave, before focusing her attention back towards the other members of her family. Her father was now carrying Hanabi in a bridal style position as her mother seemed to be talking to one of them. Little grunts and groans were audible from the smallest Hyuuga which gave a great deal of relief to Hinata. At least Hanabi knew her surroundings.
Hinata moved out of the way to let her father through. He didn't say a word to her. She glanced quickly at Hanabi who mouthed 'Hi' as she passed her by. Hinata responded with the same thing. As their mother came about, she leaned down towards Hinata.
"Maybe you should go upstairs, Hinata." She said. Hinata stared at her mother and nodded. That was never a good sign in their household, but she listened obediently and headed upstairs to Neji's room.
Hinata was lying on Neji's bed watching him play video games. There's only two times when Neji plays video games. When he's irritated or when he's bored. Hinata watched as Neji purposely crashed his car into another, knowing that would be suicide for first place.
Hinata watched him play video games so much she could tell what was a smart choice and what was a dumb one.
But she could also tell when Neji's actually trying or when he's just playing for the hell of it.
Though Neji's door was closed Hinata could hear the muffled voices of her parents coming from her own room. They had probably placed Hanabi in there to get some rest, and were now thinking of ways to punish the two of them.
"Neji…" Hinata said quietly, trying to keep her parents of hearing her.
"What?" Neji answered back sharply, but in the same low volume. His eyes stayed glued to his game. Hinata hesitated to speak.
"W-What do you think they're saying?" She stuttered. Her eyes were still focused on Neji, but his were on the television. She waited for a while, though it seemed like he showed no sign of answering. She sat up and headed towards the door. "I'll be back." She told him. Neji gave her a quick glance as she left his room, and turned back to his game as soon as the door shut.
Hinata made her way quietly down the hall. Attempting to stay as light on her toes as possible. The voices of her parents grew louder as she approached the room. She slowly pressed her ear against the door, for a more audible sound and listened.
"Those children get dumber by the day!" Her father's voice sounded through the door. "I swear they don't use the brains they have!"
"Honey, I'm sure they didn't mean it-"
"Of course they didn't mean it!" Her husband interrupted rudely. "But they should've known better. They're not children anymore! Hinata's starting high school soon. It's time they both grew up." He plopped down on Hinata's bed as he kept rubbing the back of his neck, hoping to decrease the tension, but he was just too stressed. His wife smiled lightly as she took his place and messaged his shoulders for him.
She quietly spoke into his ear. "Oh dear, they're trying, you know they are. When you're young you just, sometimes forget the consequences." She reminded him. "Don't be so harsh on them. Especially Neji, he's having a hard time as it is."
"I just don't know anymore." Hiashi continued, "I think it's time Hinata got her own room."
"Her own room?" His wife questioned. That was a random conclusion.
"Hinata's going to be an adult soon." Hiashi told her. "Sharing a room with someone as young as her sister will be a burden on both of them. Hinata's going to need her privacy…"
His wife sighed, refusing to argue with her husband, knowing that somehow he was right. She smiled lightly. "I think that would be best."
From outside the room, a light, breathless 'No' emerged from Hinata's mouth, as turned herself around and headed back towards her brother's room. Light tears streamed down her face. She hadn't been a separate room from Hanabi since the day her little sister was born. This was almost as bad as the time Neji moved into his own room as well.
Hinata re-entered Neji's room, rubbing the tears from her eyes as she walked in. Neji's game system was off, he was now just lying on the bed. Neji glanced over at his younger sister who hadn't moved since she entered the room.
"What?" Neji asked. Hinata sniffled.
"T-They're splitting me and Hanabi up." She chocked out. "I-I broke the p-promise I made to her. I told h-her we'd never be separated."
"Damn it." Neji sighed, sitting up on his bed. "C'mere." He told her. Hinata ran over to Neji, embracing him into a everlasting hug as she relieved her emotions into his chest. "Calm down Hinata, you'll ruin my clothes." He smirked.
Hinata slowly lifted herself away from him. "S-Sorry."
"It'll be fine." Neji assured her. "When I moved out we were still close, right?" Hinata nodded.
"B-But you stopped telling us stories." Hinata reminded him. Neji rolled his eyes.
"Hinata, you're 13. You're too old for stories. That's baby stuff." Neji informed her. Hinata shook her head vigorously.
"N-No!" Hinata told him. "It w-was our thing Neji! I-It was how we bonded…" Hinata's voice grew more silent. "Now who will tell Hanabi stories…?"
"No one." Neji said, laying himself back on his bed, leaving Hinata to comfort herself. "She's too old for stories too."
Hinata frowned and did something completely out of her normal character. She grabbed a pillow off of Neji's bed and smacked him in he face with it. Neji grunted in pain at the moment of the impact and removed the pillow from his head. He was about to say something to his younger sibling but she had already vanished from his room. Instead, the doorway revealed his father. Neji frowned.
"Neji." His father spoke, with a deep tone to his voice. "We need to talk."
Hinata thoroughly dried her tears before entering her own room. Inside, awaited her mother and Hanabi on Hanabi's bed. Hanabi was lying down under the covers while their mother hovered over her. Their mom was gently stroking Hanabi's hair, though neither were really talking. Hinata wanted to be just like her mother. Gently, kind and care-free.
Hinata's mother noticed her in the doorway. She noted for her to come in, which Hinata obeyed. Hinata sat on her own bed which was about a foot distance away from Hanabi's.
"Hello Hinata." Her mom's voice was as sweet as ever.
"Are you mad?" Hinata asked quietly, afraid to look her mother in the eye.
The woman shook her head. "Not really. We just thought you two would know better." She turned back towards Hanabi who had her eyes closed peacefully. She looked to be asleep.
"I know." Hinata mumbled. "I'm sorry."
Her mother got up and went over to Hinata. She grabbed her hand and held it as she gazed into her daughter's eyes with a light smile on her face. "We know." She said nicely. She placed a kiss upon Hinata's forehead before leaving the two girls alone. "Goodnight Hinata."
Hinata's eyes followed her mother as she exited their room. Her attention then went back towards Hanabi. She looked almost like that princess Sleeping Beauty, from one of the stories they've read. Hinata got up and took the place where her mother had sat on Hanabi's bed.
Hinata watched her sister, unsure of whether she was asleep or not. Her eyes were glued to her sister's face. She noticed Hanabi's eyelids move in a sort of twitch, and assumed it must've been the pain keeping her up.
"Are you okay Hanabi?" Hinata questioned, thinking the twitch was probably from the headache she now received.
Hanabi's eyes opened slowly, as if she had awoken from a deep slumber. A smile immediately appeared across her face. "Yup." She grinned. "Is daddy with Neji?" Hinata's headed nodded slowly. The smile from Hanabi's face slowly faded. "Is Neji mad at me?"
Hinata shook her head. "No. Never." She assured her younger sister.
Hanabi looked down, then back up at her sister. The sorrow on her face remained. "Are you mad at me?"
Hinata smiled, as she removed a piece of hair from Hanabi's face. "That's not possible." She said. Suddenly a glint of light caught Hinata's eye from under Hanabi's bed sheets. She pulled back the covers slowly and it relieved a necklace. A blue crystal-like object in a point-like shape, with a small silver ball on each side. The necklace was completely unfamiliar to her. She removed it from other the covers, showing it to Hanabi as well as giving herself a more visible look at it. "Hanabi, what is this?"
Hanabi eyed her sister curiously. "You mean it's not yours?" Hinata shook her head, not looking away from the necklace. She actually found it most breathtaking.
"No…" Hinata answered, sounding completely hypnotized. "It's beautiful. Is it mother's?"
Hanabi shook her head. "She said it was yours." Hinata gave her sister a lost expression. "Apparently she saw you wearing it before."
Hinata placed her hand around her neck. "I was?" She asked, glancing at her bear collar bone. Hanabi nodded.
"Put it on!" She said cheerfully.
Hinata smiled sheepishly. "I-I don't know."
"Please!" Hanabi pleaded. "I bet it looks really good on you!" Hinata let out a light laugh as she placed the necklace around her neck. She gave a small glance to Hanabi who smiled brightly. "I told you it looks good!" She beamed.
Hinata giggled. She got up and headed towards the mirror to look at the appearance herself. She smiled brightly. The necklace did suit her. The light blue crystal went well with the light lilac-purple tint in her eyes. But where did it come from, and how come she couldn't remember wearing it?
"Hinata?" Hanabi called. Hinata turned to acknowledge her sister. "Story time?" She asked cutely. Hinata nodded.
She felt bad about what happened to Hanabi, and in returned decided to read her favorite story. Peter Pan. A Disney Classic and Hanabi's favorite. Not to mention her first crush.
Hinata picked up the book from the bookshelf across from the foot of Hanabi's bed. She smiled as she picked it out, immediately showing Hanabi the title to receive another smile in return. Hinata then walked over and plopped back down in her original spot on Hanabi's bedside.
"I can't wait until he takes me to Neverland." Hanabi dreamed. Hinata smiled. Ever since Hinata was five years of age she had a fantasy that Peter Pan would take her away to Neverland if she kept believing. Hinata was never one to crush a dream. She herself, knew Peter Pan wasn't real, but as long as Hanabi believed, she would pretend.
"I just hope Father will let you." Hinata smiled.
"Well whether he does or not, I'm going." Hanabi informed her. Hinata nodded, showing her support. "Unlike Wendy, I'd stay with him forever."
"But you might never see, Mother or Father again, or Neji or me." Hinata attempted to rationalize. Though, their conversations before reading Peter Pan usually went like this.
"Well you'd come with me Hinata!" Hanabi explained. Hinata laughed at the thought of those two flying off to 'Neverland' with 'Peter Pan'. "And Neji too! He could marry that Tiger Lily girl, and I'm sure there's a Lost Boy or Indian for you. And with Mother and Father, we'd visit once in a while, I'm sure Peter wouldn't mind."
Hinata nodded. She had obviously thought this out for a while. She was quite confident.
"Well that'd be fun." Hinata agreed. "Just let me meet him first. I want to make sure I like him before you marry him." She teased.
"You will Hinata!" Hanabi grinned brightly. "I know you will! How could you not? He's just so, wonderful…"
Her sister looked so adorable. Day-dreaming about falling in love at her young age. It was truly incredible to watch. "Wonderful, huh?" Hinata played.
"But not like you Hinata." Hanabi assured. "That's why you'd have to come too. We promised we'd never leave each other right?"
Hinata's playful smile drifted off her face. The thought of her father talking about her leaving their room replayed in her mind. Hanabi must have been asleep for that part since she hadn't mentioned anything about it yet. Or maybe it just slipped her mind like it had Hinata's.
"Hinata?" Hanabi called for attention. Hinata's eyes faked a tiny smile as she looked down at her little sister. "Is there something wrong?"
Hinata shook her head. "Just… a bit tired," She lied. Hanabi's eyes immediately shot open.
"Well don't fall asleep now! You haven't even started the story yet!" Hanabi whined. Hinata had to hold back her laughter from the childish act her sister was performing. "Come on! Come on!" She rushed.
"Alright," Hinata said opening to the first page. "Far into the night sky, past the second star to the right, was Neverland. A place full of magic and wonder. From fierce pirates, to the beautiful mermaids, to the brave Indians and the magic of fairies, lived a wonderful boy. A boy who would never age, nor grow up. A boy named Peter Pan…"
"'Goodbye Wendy' Peter called from outside the window. As he and Tinkerbell flew up towards the stars and young Wendy watched from the window. Her eyes refused to leave the boy who had given her such adventure that night. 'Goodbye… Peter Pan"
Hinata sighed as she finished the story. Peter Pan was always one of the longest bedtimes stories to read. She looked over at Hanabi was sleeping peacefully. Hinata smiled as she stroked her little sister's hair with care. She arose from the bed to put the book back on it shelf before changing into her pajamas.
When she went over to the mirror to brush her hair she glanced at the necklace around her neck. She stared at it with great curiosity, completely unaware of how it came about. She gripped it in her hand.
"Maybe I'll ask Mother about it in the morning." She yawned. She rubbed her eyes, to keep her awake long enough to make it back to her bed. She pulled back the sheets as she placed herself inside. She wrapped the covers tightly around herself as she closed her eyes.
The last motion she did before falling into her nightly slumber was grip the blue crystal around her neck. The thought of Hanabi's life with Peter Pan flashed quickly into her mind before it went blank.
If Neverland meant she could stay with Hanabi, it might not be that bad of a place after all.
BETA Reader, anyone? Please Read.&.Review.