Author's note: Written around episode 135 or so. Since Hinata is so rarely shown in the Shippuuden, I thought why not stick her in this little side story I made and expand it a bit. :P
She loved the sound of his lungs inflating, and how his nostrils whistled when he'd breathe out. Tears stung her eyes as realization hit her. That this child, her creation-their creation-is going to be raised into a monster. A frightening monster with a bloodline limit that might be even more powerful than any of the two clans'. Would she be saving him if she completes her notion? The fingers that brushed his warm, soft throat, alive beneath her touch, made her hands feel foreign to her. The cold steel blade underneath the mattress abandoned its heartlessness, as if just for that moment, and remained hidden from the tortured mother's sight. She didn't know what to do. She should've ended both of their lives before he was even born. Before she felt the fully developed body shuffle in her womb.
But if she rid of him, rid of Itachi's hope, or rather his experiment, what were to happen to her? What would she have to live for? Without even realizing it, she had placed all of her own hopes into this child. That she had someone who needed her. That she had someone to love, to raise within her own being. Her life had already fallen under siege, thinking that reincarnation through her offspring was a silly thought, she understands that now. Maybe it was the hormones, or maybe that maternal instinct she heard about. No way she could've been this naïve.
A light giggle broke through the silent air. Hinata's eyes unclenched, surprise melting into a guilty smile. Sasuke must've felt tickled, that's why he woke up.
She had wished she could have at least given him his name. Why Itachi, the man who turned the world against him, wanted so badly to have his child named after his brother was beyond her. Then again, he never told her anything personal, never really talked. As if he were wary of revealing whatever there might have been to reveal regarding his true intentions, his true nature behind the facade. Ha, imagine that. She figured it was safe to assume, though, that he only named his offspring "Sasuke" to piss the older one off when he's discovered. Nothing better than having your family's murderer's kid being named after you, huh. Nothing better. He sure was a clever one, Itachi. Her face turned bitter at the mental mention of his name.
The giggling ceased, but a playful smile didn't leave the child's mouth. Numb fingers removed themselves from his neck, hands dropping to their owner's sides without hesitating to hit the cold floor, whilst the young woman remained kneeling before his navy crib.
It was odd, she thought, that he didn't cry as much as she expected a toddler to cry. Even when he was only an infant, the few times he let out those dreaded screams was never due to craved attention, never for demanded love. They all seemed necessary, strictly for expressing his primitive need for nourishment and practically nothing more. Another safe assumption to make; he had somehow inherited this trait from his father. But it was undeniably a relief that little Sasuke knew how to laugh when he didn't have to. That he had managed to inherit a heart from his mother.
She should've never given in to the man in the first place.
The stiff air, though recently had been shuffled by misplaced cheer, began to settle back into its previous stale state. Her gaze found it expectably easy to focus on things other than the child's face. The crib's deep shades of blue, coincidentally matching the very tone of her own hair, bore into her soul. He could've at least have chosen a happier color for the boy, even if that wouldn't seem fitting. At least then, her lies would be reinforced, and she'd spoil herself with an unsolid reason for thinking that there was some happiness attached to this innocent's birth.
A premonition danced before her eyes again. This child isn't going to be raised like her own. He isn't going to be the hope that she had dreamed of during her first term of pregnancy. It is likely that Itachi only wanted a powerful apprentice, to assist him in whatever horrors he needed assistance in. Doubtful that he simply wanted a seed. That the boy was an "accident" was also a dubious thought. No way he would've had let her keep him if that really was the case. No way he'd burden himself with two hostages rather than one.
He wasn't disrespectful, though. That's what confused her the most. The night the child was conceived was a night prior to absolute despair on her behalf, and it felt as though he was only there to comfort her, in his own twisted way. It was a night where she felt sanity at its last string. This man, who had walked in during her darkest time, when she had finally caved in and no longer held back any sobs, simply gave her the comfort he was edged on to believe that she needed. It's amazing how dangerous a light kiss can be when given from one of strength to one of hopelessness.
Was she being watched, or was this organization just that stupid? Leaving a tormented mother alone with the destined child seemed like a dumb move on their part.
She was led to second guess herself, that maybe they didn't care about the child's potential. Maybe she's the only one overestimating his future capabilities. She tried to peak into his dark eyes, searching through grey for something she knew she wouldn't be able to find, at least not in a few good years.
A few good years.
"Good." She dwelled on that word. Just what "good" is she expecting to come? She's been locked away in Akatsuki's darkness for almost three whole years now. No one has come.
A few years.
In a few years:
He'll be trained as a weapon by his loveless father.
In a few years: it'll be too late.
The child grabbed a hanging lock of his mother's hair. This failure-of-a-killer's hair. The giggle returned when she rewarded him with a small smile. Memories returned as well.
She was placed under Itachi's supervision (if you can call it that) from her first four months there. Itachi suggested that they needed her alive and Kisame showed poor restraint during meaningless interrogation-surely his excuse for playtime. Although the things he asked weren't of much value, and she wondered if he was even serious with about half of them, Hinata took pride in herself for keeping her vow to Konoha and her clan. Throughout his treatment she didn't utter a single word, proving physical force to be futile. All the more reason for Itachi to pitch in. The man who didn't require force to get what he wanted.
She failed to recall how at nights he made sure her wrists weren't raw from the rough chains she was bound to. How he awkwardly kept her company on the days he was around, feinting to have been doing his job. How he let her bathe, back turned to an enemy who's very own hands were her weapons. But she didn't forget how he approached her coldly. She didn't forget those stories about massacring his clan. She didn't forget how he had his partner take her away, just as she was at the verge of death: her final opportunity for the much needed rest.
She gently pulled her hair from the child's grasp, selfishly claiming it as her own, gesturing him to love her less, and shifted to stand up.
At first, she never fully understood what she was being kept for. When she had inquired, the answers (if not intimidating snarls or insults) among partners tended to be mixed up, and Itachi, who she believed was clearly the mastermind, never said anything. When she had futilely asked if she could be freed, he had denied her that, suggesting that only death would follow. Up until that night, she thought she was to serve as bait for the Jinchuuriki. Wishful thinking on her part, fantasizing that Naruto-kun would be riled up enough to fall for something so foolish. That thought was drowned as quickly as it surfaced. It's not as if she'd feel any better if she were to expose her comrade to danger.
A cry suddenly broke out, pulling her out of the disgustingly selfish thoughts. Sasuke was demanding something, but what? She had already fed him before he fell asleep. Before she cried over his impending destiny. Before she waited for the chance to tear open his throat, and interrupt his dreams with a short-lived pain.
Although confusion was evident on her face, the guilt from before strengthened, and her arms automatically moved towards the child, pulling him out of the crib. She marveled how his seemingly coal colored hair had a bit of a blue shine in it just like hers did; like the crib's silk bed sheets did.
The crying subdued when she drew him into her chest. A secure embrace. Something that she never let herself do wholeheartedly with the featherweight monster. Maybe he had inherited less from his father than she thought he had.
Hinata's eyes softened, closed when his closed, she breathed when he breathed, their heartbeats in unison. The blade beneath the mattress was a fading memory now, allowing just the question to linger on her eyebrows. She replayed her aged conversation with Neji about destiny in her mind.
Familiar footsteps echoed in the hallway, stirring her out of discord. She knew those footsteps, and the silence that followed them. Her head moved towards the door in response, anticipating his arrival.
She didn't understand him, but she didn't understand herself, either.
Why Hinata didn't feel repulsed to lie by his side puzzled her. Why she was no longer terrified of his presence like she had been in the past made her feel like a traitor. Why there was a tugging at her heart that whispered he might be more than he allows her to perceive, nagged her.
He opened the door to his chambers. Their chambers. The room which she initially refused.
Something obscure flickered over his eyes at the sight that greeted him. He had never seen Hinata hold their child so intimately before, not since she had stopped breastfeeding. Sasuke stirred from the security of his mother's chest and sleepily squinted at the intruder, clearly displeased at the sudden spill of light from the entrance. A trait from his father. Fortunately for the child, the door wasn't open for long.
Why she felt relief that he has returned home safe scared her.
As soon as Sasuke recognized the intruder, his face immediately brightened and he twisted his body, eagerly reaching towards the older male with his left hand, his right still firmly latched onto his mother, showing no signs of dismissal. The one with the obsidian eyes walked forward.
Why she felt a loneliness heavier during days of his absence than the loneliness she had felt during her first few days of imprisonment, etched worry into her heart.
Itachi's index finger complied with the child's needs and let his small hand wrap around it. Hinata, who had spent so much time convincing herself that this man couldn't be trusted, didn't disregard the spark of warmth in his dull eyes. Her own resonating at the small hope given. Maybe Sasuke was more than an experiment. Maybe he had a future different from the one of a merciless weapon. Maybe, just, maybe, this child could simply be "theirs."
A/N: Thanks for reading! Sorry if it was a bit too ooc. I tried my best to make it as realistic yet sweet as possible with this pair. This story has been laying around for three years, hoping I'd come back and fix it. I'm not a writer but I am a perfectionist.. so with that poor combination I realize I would have never really posted it, but I liked this idea so much that I just couldn't resist sharing it. ^^; So I apologize for the noobness in this fic and for it being so poorly written. Feedback (whether negative or positive!) would be very much so appreciated. Knowing what I did wrong or what I did right would help me fix the other few stories I have lying around. I really hope at least one person was able to enjoy it though. Either way, thanks so much for sticking through!