A Mothers Touch
"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.
A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
- Sophia Loren
It's been quite a while. (: I've missed writing fanfiction, so here's the first chapter of what was previously named Five Years too Late. I really liked the idea that had originated from my twelve year old mind four years ago, but the writing and title, not so much. I attempted a re-write of this a year ago, and just…failed at it, so here I am again.
I appreciate your interest in the story as you have clicked on it, and I hope that you enjoy reading this!
Hinata Hyuga hadn't really planned on having children for a while. The first, and perhaps most important part of that process, would be to find a husband to actually have the children with. At twenty-four, just a few months short of finishing her master's degree in medicine, it wasn't really a hot topic in her mind, men that is. A husband with whom she would have a family with, and children with whom she would smother with love was on her list of things to do, sure. But, having a child before she was out of university? Before she had established a steady career? Oh, unheard of! Especially for a Hyuga?
One would not dare bring on the shame and embarrassment! It was a steadfast thought in her mind, one that Hinata had made sure to keep readily available when any advances were made. Work first, and men, if any, last. That was always how she had been. In high school and throughout her first six years in university, Hinata had always put her education first. She had been the one to take on that prude, nerdy façade. Someone had to, right? And why not her? She didn't need the cute, high school boyfriend. That cute boy, who gently caressed your hand at lunch under the table, so no one else could see, or the one who would whisper sweet nothings into your ear as you held hands in public. Hinata Hyuga could live without it, just as she lived without other things. Things such as a social life and friends.
Perhaps, she had thought of a while ago, she would regret not being more social. Of course, at twenty-four she had been since grown out of her adolescent awkwardness. Clubbing with the girls? Ah, not likely so. Or perhaps a solitary, relaxing night of hot, jasmine tea and a good romance novel? Yes, a bit more realistic to the untouchable Hinata Hyuga. She was content where she was. Her father wasn't complaining, she was doing well in school, and life was just flying by. Maybe that one guy would come along and she would fall helplessly in love like the cliché characters she loved to dissect in her romance novels would. Or maybe, she would be alone forever, which didn't seem that bad. As long as she proudly held the Hyuga flag up high, smiling as it valiantly fluttered in the wind, causing her father and the company no problems, Hinata could go on living her relaxing life. Of course there was pressure, and at times it was difficult, but she always sprang back up.
And then it seemed to all shatter on the 24th of July. That day, that terribly horrid day! It was the day she made the choice to end her simple life, to end her squeaky-clean reputation, to end everything positive! Yet, she didn't shed a tear. Hanabi, her younger sister and the cause of their sudden family predicament, had been bawling, barely able to speak. Neji, her older cousin, somewhat of her counselor, and who she was in cahoots with, had his arms folded, a finger thoughtfully tapping his bottom lip. Hinata herself merely sat on her couch, her lean legs carefully tucked underneath her. On the inside, a storm was raging, but on the outside she maintained a calm demeanor. Could she really handle it?
"Pregnant," She softly muttered.
It seemed surreal. The thought of a child, growing inside her little sister was a bit…hard to process. Hanabi, a natural mischievous person, had been doing so well! She had managed to stay out of trouble, while being the best at what she did. As she always had been, Hinata thought, biting her lip. Their Father was so proud of Hanabi, everyone knew it. To hear such appalling news, why Hinata was sure he would go insane with rage. Perfection, he demanded! In everything, he insisted. Hanabi would be skinned alive, and her father would give no mercy.
"This is a problem, Hanabi." Neji uttered, his back turned. "We all know what will happen once this gets out to Hiashi. There is no need for me to elaborate. The press will eat the Hyuga name alive. And not to mention the family rivals. God, I can only imagine the wild stories they'll spin. Although as of now, that is not the issue. The question is, what exactly will we do about your reputation,Hanabi? Hinata can attest to my statement. If Hiashi hears of this, he may go about his actions unwisely, doing something that will only hurt the companies growth and relations."
It was true, what Neji said. A few years before, a rumor had been started about one of her father's brother's son. An under aged high school girl had claimed that he was the father of her newborn son. It had been in all the note-worthy magazines and newspapers. It was one of the hottest sex-scandals in Japan at the time. Her father had gone berserk, firing people left and right, refusing investing requests, even going so far as to make the entire main family fast. It was then found that the girl had lied for attention, and she recanted the charges. It was a breath of fresh air for all of those who wore the Hyuga name.
Hinata closed her eyes. If he were to find out his youngest daughter was pregnant. It would be catastrophic. She turned to look a distressing eye at Hanabi, who had balled herself up on the opposite couch, a pillow the only companion to her tears. She would soon have entrance exams. What of those? All Japanese students knew that the exams that determined what university you went to was arguably the most important test of your life. It required an enormous amount of studying and diligence. Dealing with all of the Hide affects of being pregnant wouldn't help at all. And what of her social life? The terrible name she would wear in the family for the rest of her life, it would scar her, it might even change her! Her personal finances? Hinata bit her lip. Father would freeze it, no doubt. She would be penniless! Hanabi was screwed, any way you looked at it.
"We need to figure this out." Neji murmured softly. "An abortion is absolutely out of the question, and adoption is too risky. Having…the baby is the best choice. It's Hanabi's welfare that we must take into consideration. Hiashi will show no mercy, Hinata. We certainly don't need what happened to Tomoe to happen to us. Especially with the company fundraising events coming up, we need everything to run smoothly."
This was usually how they solved problems. Neji would carefully explain and elaborate as he always did, and Hinata would contently listen, only giving her thoughts at the end. She had never been much of a talker, but Neji was the spokesperson for the company, and all Hyuugas in general. He also sometimes doubled as a publicist. The fact that Neji trusted and considered her suggestions and thoughts was a compliment to Hinata. Many saw Neji as being stoic and calculating, but Hinata saw differently. He was one of the few people who knew her best. And he, she.
"What about the father?" Hinata uttered, honestly not wanting to know anything about the father. "He might be willing to participate and keep it a secret."
Then, an idea popped in her head and Hinata began to think.
"Yes, now that you mention it. Hanabi, who is it? And don't even think about telling us you don't know. You couldn't have been sleeping with more then one person. It would be unlike you. He's not one of your friends from school either, I already know he's older then you. So, just be honest. We don't have time for crying and fooling around."
"He doesn't know," Hanabi muttered, sounding stuffy from all her crying.
"That's not what I asked. Who is he?"
"Neji," Hinata softly called out. "I have a solution."
Both Neji and Hanabi turned to stare at Hinata, their expressions both on the verge of incredulous belief. Taking a sigh, and hardly believing what she was about to say, Hinata stood up and walked to sit by her younger sister. As she did so, she grabbed a tissue off of the glass, coffee table. Gently turning Hanabi's mascara streaked face towards her, Hinata began to wipe her face. Neji became silent and Hanabi could only stare, wide-eyed.
"I'll say I'm pregnant. You and I, Hanabi, will go away, and we'll somehow convince father. You'll have the baby, and when we comeback, I will be the one to raise the baby. As for the father…he doesn't have to know. As far as the world is concerned, I am the one with the child."
And then, Hinata smiled. "Just live your life, okay, Hanabi? I'll take care of the rest."
"How could you do something so messedup? Taking the blame for me, Hinata? You always…always do this!" Hanabi suddenly yelled, clutching Hinata's wrist tightly. "I…I just can't…let you do that. Not for someone like me… You…You just c-cant."
Hanabi started to sob again, this time against Hinata. A saddened look adorned Hinata's face as she wrapped her arm around Hanabi, glancing at Neji.
"I'm surprised you're willing to go to such lengths to solve this issue. You are a Hyuuga, and I do expect from you, though. The only problem with your solution is that, once again, there is no male figure. Unless you were to marry someone, and fake it as if you decided to get married, and then had the child, I don't see how your solution would be successful. I also do not know any young male who is ready to settle down and have a family with a baby that isn't even his. We need a willing, able participant."
Hinata bit her lip, realizing the holes in her plan. And then she started to quietly chuckle. How was it that she was so okay with what she had just done? A baby was tremendous responsibility. She could take care of it, more able then Hanabi because she was out of school, but still, she'd be alone. Neji was right. Their father would be just as angry with her if she had a baby out of wedlock as he'd be with Hanabi. But, that didn't bother her at the moment. She was willing to do anything for the sake of Hanabi's happiness. She'd rather suffer then to see Hanabi or the company suffer. Why she felt this way, Hinata knew not. She was willing to give up her own accomplishments and reputation for Hanabi's mistake. And she was perfectly okay with it.
It was sudden. Hinata felt Hanabi pull her close and whisper a name into her ear. Hinata's eyes widened and her mouth dropped. Neji frowned and inquired. Then, the phone rang, jolting all of them.
Neji answered it, said a few brief words, and then hung up with a "She'll call you shortly." And a frosty bye.
"I do wonder, Hinata, how that idiot Naruto Uzumaki got your home number."
But Hinata was still stuck on the person who Hanabi had slept with. At first she had thought it to be a mistake, that she had heard wrong. But, if it were something that Hinata had mastered, it was listening. She very rarely missed misheard anything. The name was whispered clearly and with a tinge of regret. Hinata wasn't upset, and the shock was subsiding. It was time to come back to earth, time to calm back down, think logically, and figure it out.
Her yoga classes were suddenly placed in mind. While softly gliding her fingers through Hanabi's long, silky black hair, Hinata began to use the Sukha Pranayama, the easy breath.
"We'll speak of him later. Now, what is it?"
Neji had since then taken a seat at the couch, where she had been previously sitting. He had been crossing his arms, something he only did when he was agitated. He would probably want to send his once crisp black button up to the cleaners, Hinata noted. As she looked a bit harder, Hinata could tell that he needed another trim. She adjusted her glasses and cleared her throat. Personal feelings would have to wait. She needed to get it over with.
"It's Uchiha Sasuke."
Neji frowned and slightly leaned forward. "Uchiha…Sasuke? His father is the head of Ginjo Inc. He's the youngest of The Uchiha Brothers. He's twenty-four and he's publicly athletic. This Uchiha should have no problem having sex with any decently attractive woman."
"W-we didn't mean to. It was only once…" Hanabi solemnly added. She started to sniffle. "He was drunk, and so was I."
Hinata heard Neji mutter something under his breath. "Drunk?"
"You're not mad?"
Neji sighed. "Of course I'm mad. This wasn't in the script. But, the sooner we figure out what to do, the sooner we can get you settled and away from Hiashi. He's not as senile as he may come across. I wouldn't be surprised if he figured it out. We have to take the chance and assume our generation is considerably more intelligent and cunning then his. This includes you, Hanabi. You are acting very weak right now. Stop crying. At noon, we have that main family luncheon and—"
"Neji, wasn't his older brother Itachi in your Economics class a few years ago?" Hinata interrupted, a thoughtful look on her face.
But Neji was lost in his own sudden thoughts. "How would you ever get the Uchiha to marry you? A marriage merger would be a great cover-up, but it wouldn't benefit the two companies as a whole. Perhaps we could blackmail him. Itachi is squeaky, I'm pretty sure. Heading a company with that large amount of revenue, he wouldn't go around leaving a mess behind me. Sasuke may have left something behind. I'll get Kiba and Shino on it…"
Then, a strange glint took hold of Neji's eyes. "Another method, one less complicated, would be, for you Hinata, to sleep with Itachi, and then claim that you were pregnant. I doubt he would abandon you. A marriage of sorts would somehow proceed this."
Hinata closed her eyes. "We're despicable, selfish human beings, Neji! We're willing to ruin someone else's life to help our own. I can stand to lie for Hanabi, for the baby, but I wouldn't be able to live a life with a man built on a platform of lies and deceit. Hiashi will just have to despise me then."
It was the first time Hinata had called her father by his first name, and she felt odd doing it. It was as if she had broken a seal on respect.
"If you were to say the baby is yours, is that not a deceitful lie?" Neji challenged, a slight smirk on his face.
"It's for an innocent child. I'm more then willing to lie. But, I could never take the life of someone else and… and just twist it to fit mine! No one else needs to be involved then there is necessary, Neji. We're trying to keep this confidential, and you know this!"
Neji chuckled. "I enjoy it when you speak your mind. It lets me know things are actually getting through to you. Sometimes, Hinata, you can look quite lost. And I agree with you. All of the previous ideas are way too risky. We should proceed with caution. Because you are finished school, the best solution would be your first mention. We make it seem as if you were the one pregnant. Hiashi will be angry that there is the absence of a father, and there may be a few issues with publicity and the image, but we'll spring back like we always do. You handle Hanabi during the pregnancy, and I'll handle everything else after."
It was settled.
"If we do this Neji, it will be a while before we can sit and talk like this. I will most likely have to move away. Away from you, Hanabi, Hiashi, the company…everyone."
Hinata unexpectedly felt something she wasn't supposed to be feeling. It wasn't happiness or fear. The sadness was there, but this feeling was stronger. It was relief. She was about to go through an emotional, nearly hellish time of becoming a mother and being detached from all she had ever known. And she felt brave. She felt as if she could do it. The fact that Hiashi would despise her, shun her, detach her from didn't bother her. She was a grown adult. It was about time she let go of the Hyuga title and became something else.
"I'm insane." Hinata said, coursing her fingers through her hair. Hanabi had become limp.
"I should be devastated right now, but I'm not."
"No," Neji said. "You're just not thinking of yourself. You're thinking of the child. Reality will hit. But, you will be taken good care of. I do also handle the books, Hinata."
"Your actions will not be taken lightly. From now on until the end, Hanabi will be under a complete lock down. Nothing but cram school and sleep."
Hinata bit her lip. "What if the Uchiha's suspect something?"
Neji shrugged. "They have nothing to gain. They won't be a problem."
Hinata took one last glance at a sleep Hanabi, a soft look in her eyes.
"I hope you're right, Neji. I hope you're right."
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