Author's Note: Hello everyone. =) Here's the first chapter to A Thin Line. I hope you all enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

A Thin Line

Chapter I: Sunrise

Hinata stared at the rising sun, memorizing the colors as they mingled together, creating a living masterpiece right before her. It never ceased to amaze her, how everyday such beauty could exist with such profound majesty, and yet so many people seem to take it for granted. The thought made her shake her head in disappointment. Sunrises were an occasion she refused to miss. They reminded her that she was still here. Still breathing in the air that surrounded her. Still able to move freely. Still living. Hinata valued life so much, refusing to take for granted even a second of the day.

Ever since the death of her mother, Hinata had begun to cherish her life, and the one's around her, with great care. It's the memory of her love, compassion and overall person that reminded Hinata of what she must hold dear to her. It was the ache of the loss she felt whenever she thought of her mother that reminded her to continue on, and struggle forward. It was this, and only this that kept her together. It was her mother's last request after all. How could she possibly defy that? She couldn't. She wouldn't. She loved her too much.

Her hand unconsciously reached out to her neck and fingered the necklace around it. It was a silver chain with a pendant attached. The pendant was a pale, lavender tinted stone in the shape of a teardrop. Her mom had given her the trinket the day she died. Hinata recalled her mother's words as she held the stone gently.

'Know t-that as long as you have t-this pendant, y-you will...will a-always have a p-piece of...of me.'

Tears sprung to her eyes and threatened to fall. It didn't matter how many years have gone by, the loss of her mother still felt strong.

Breathing long, staggered breaths, calming herself, Hinata decided it was time to get up. At this rate, she would end up wallowing here all day. And so, begrudgingly, she stood up and stretched out her limbs from their lack of use.

She lowered herself, and let her momentum slide her down the slanted roof. Once at the edge, she slung her legs over and pushed herself off of the ledge.

Her feet landed softly on the smooth surface of her porch. The day she found out that her roof slanted so that all she had to was grab onto the ledge and climb on top was one of her best. It thrilled her to know that she could have a spot in her home where no one else knew about, a place she could run to.

Stepping lightly into her room through the glass doors that led inside, she glanced at the clock. Another hour and everyone will be up and about. She sighed and shook her head. The Hyuga compound was so thorough about their schedule, it honestly irked her a bit.

' Just a little change wouldn't kill them..not too much at least..'

Deciding to get a head start, she made her way to her private bathroom, stripping off her clothes while doing so. Making her way to the shower, she warmed it up before walking in, relishing the feel of warm water on her pale skin. After a half hour, Hinata reluctantly stepped out of her watery heaven and into cooler air.

It didn't take long for her to go about her morning routine from brushing her teeth to combing her hair. Looking at it now, she was happy that she made the decision to let it grow out years ago. It now dropped to the bottom of her waist.

She threw on some blue boot cut jeans, a black tee and her favorite black fitted hoodie. Looking in the mirror once, she nodded to herself in approval before exiting her room. As she closed the door behind her, a frown made its way on her lips.

In all honesty, she just wanted to go back on her roof and stay there for eternity. In Hinata's mind, that was her heaven. It was a place that she, and only she, was allowed to be. There, no one could hurt her. There, she wouldn't feel pain.

Neji awoke to the smell of breakfast. He rose slowly, and as he sat there on his bed, he finally sighed. Hinata was up early. Again.

'Does she ever sleep?' He thought groggily, but pushed it aside once another realization hit him. Hinata was cooking, which meant Hanabi wouldn't cook this morning, which meant...

'I won't be wondering if it's food or some kind of poison.'

With that pleasant thought in mind, Neji got out of bed and readied for the day ahead.

It wasn't long until everyone awoke. Neji was the first to discover Hinata finishing up dishing plates up for everyone. Walking into the kitchen, he watched her scurry about. Whenever she cooked, she was at ease, enjoying preparing food. It was one of her many talents, and in Neji's mind, one of her most appreciated But today, she was not at ease, not in the least. Her movements were too tense, and her muscles strained. Obviously she was nervous, and it didn't surprise him. Today was the day after all.

He approached the small Hyuga, who now had her back turned to him as she put a tea kettle on the stove, and put a hand on her shoulder. A small shriek came from Hinata as she jumped and spun around, only to relax when she saw who had touched her.

"Neji-kun." Hinata whispered, smiling apologetically. Neji raised an eyebrow at her. "I-I'm sorry. I didn't h-hear you come in."

Neji smirked and chuckled. "No need to apologize. You just seem jumpy. It's unlike you..well, now it is." The smirk he was wearing had disappeared completely as he read her reaction.

She cast her eyes down and pulled herself into a hug. "O-Oh.." She bit her lip than looked up at her cousin's similar eyes. Contrary to the rest of the Hyuga population, Hinata had eyes that were different from all the rest. They weren't just merely pale, but instead her white orbs contained a lavender tint, a trait no one knew where she possibly could have inherited from. "I guess I-I'm just nervous."

Hinata didn't notice it, but Neji did. She was shaking slightly. He stepped forward and pulled her into an embrace, an act usually initiated by Hinata.

The smaller girl didn't respond for a second before wrapping her arms around Neji's torso, holding onto him for dear life.

"I'm scared Neji. I-I'm really scared. I-I just have a bad feeling t-things are going to g-get worse." Hinata whispered. By now, silent tears were falling down her face.

Neji tightened his embrace at hearing her words. It didn't surprise him that she held this fear. Who could blame her? The place was a hell hole for his younger cousin, and it was all because of him.

Neji's lips pressed into a hard line before he finally spoke. "You'll be okay. I will protect you."

Hinata buried her face in his chest. Oh how she wished that were true, but unlike the last three years of dealing with it all, she had a feeling deep in her gut. It told her that Neji wouldn't be able to keep her safe this time.

'If only...'

Hope you all enjoy. Please review. =)