A/N: Just a little 'what if' idea.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
"Hinata-chan, come play with me!" A six year old Hyuuga Neji demanded as he watched his younger cousin attack the practice log with determination. The day was young and their parents were out; the perfect time to play like they used to.
Hyuuga Hinata cast the main house member a sideward glance, somehow keeping focus on her actions. "Gomen Neji-sama. Otou-san told me to train until he returned."
"What did I tell you about the honorific, Hinata-chan?" Neji crossed his arms over his chest and rolled his eyes. "While we're alone, you can call me niisan, like you used to…"
A small smile grew on the young girl's face as she continued her administrations. "Hai… Neji-niisan." She giggled to herself, somehow calling her superior something so...casual made her feel like a rebel. It was a rush like none other…That she's felt at least up until then.
"So come on, let's play." Neji activated his Byakugan and checked all around them to make sure that they were truly alone. He wouldn't want anyone to discover that the heir to the great Hyuuga clan still had a few childlike tendencies running through his mind instead of the sole purpose of bettering himself for the sake of them all. When in front of his otou-san and the elders, he would put up a completely cold and calculating façade, a mask that he has long ago perfected. It was so easy to play to their tune while still staying the same in private; especially when he was with Hinata.
"I cannot. I'm afraid that otou-san would know if I stopped training. He always knows…" she trailed off and a smile stretched across her lips at some fond memory she and only she shared with Hizashi.
"Hmph." Neji sat down on another nearby log and pouted. He wasn't used to being told 'no'. Not only was he the heir, but he was a prodigy, something that every member of the clan revered. They paid attention to his every whim and they NEVER told him 'no'. He rested his chin on the back of his hand and allowed himself to watch the female who was going to be his guardian; someone who would risk her life for the sake of his; someone who had to sacrifice her life just to ensure that he would survive any problem or hardship… All for the clan.
She slammed her open palm into the log harder, causing the old wood to groan at the harsh contact. Sweat glistened off of her pale forehead, and she flicked her bangs off of it, which was covered with that greenish blue ink that was on all of the foreheads of the branch family.
He flinched at the sight. He remembered how much she cried that day. He remembered her whispering that it hurt as they held hands, and he stayed by her side until Hizashi came with a sad smile and scooped her up, taking her to the branch compound; a part of the house that he was warned not to frequent. He felt sad that it was a sign that they were of different status. He didn't like being separated from her even if it was something so normal in their lives. He shook his head briefly to banish the memory from his mind and forced himself to study her again.
All of her attention focused on her actions. A slam here, one there… She was getting to the point where all of her moves flowed smoothly, like water.
"You're good." He admitted aloud. "Almost as good as I am!"
"Arigato." She beamed. She raised her palm to strike again, but stilled, her back straightening entirely. She half turned towards Neji and bowed low, almost to the point where her nose could touch the ground. "O-Ohayo Hiashi-sama, Otou-san."
The heir's eyes widened and he whirled around to see his uncle and his father standing directly behind him. His uncle Hizashi wore a straight-faced mask that seemed to have a few cracks in it… He seemed pleased about something that was unknown to the prodigy at that moment. He quickly dismissed it and focused on the head of the clan, Hiashi, his otou-san.
The brunette man didn't give him even the slightest nod of acknowledgement; instead, he was watching his small niece. "It is good to see you training so early in the morning, Hinata." Hiashi stated as he studied the girl. "You'll be a fine guardian one of these days…Neji." His voice hardened as he turned around, about to take his leave. "That is enough foolishness for today. I want you to go get dressed and train alongside your cousin. Your uncle will be training you today. I have another meeting today."
"Hai otou-sama." Neji stole a glance at the indigo haired child who had the widest eyes he's ever seen—probably from his father's compliment—and grinned sheepishly, something only she was able to see at his angle, before taking off towards his room. What could you say? He was still a child. He still had his emotions and would continue to keep them until his father decided to beat them out of him. And Hinata? He hoped that she stayed the same for the rest of her life. His little guardian.
A/N: This was originally going to be a chapter fic, but I wanted to try this first. I mean, why make a long story if nobody would read it? So I'm doing this as a test. If a lot of people like it, I'll make it into a chapter fic Thanx for reading! :D