Originally written: July 7th, 2012

"Lady Hinata."

His voice was that of a true shinobi. Despite the pain that would doubtlessly follow and the uncertainty that such a jutsu would work, he showed no misgivings. His future had always been in the careless hands of his younger cousin, a fact that had once made him resent her. But now, after years of growing in much more than stature, there was no one else that he would entrust the entirety of his being to but Hinata.

Her nimble fingers no longer poked at each other and her hands no longer shook. They were thin and cool against his forehead as she reached down to where he kneeled below her and he watched her, eyes as unwavering in his loyalty, in his love, as his voice.

Her eyelids, closed against the ever seeing eyes that marked her as Hyuuga, were the only thing that gave away her resolve in herself to help him. They quivered, threatened to let loose tears of nervousness and defeat.

She opened her eyes to look back into his.

"Lady Hinata."

But if Neji could trust her, for the trust was there in every syllable and letter of his words, then how could she not trust herself?

He closed his eyes. And she released him.